Liberal celebrities, journalists and the like are rallying behind Lake Highlands High School valedictorian Paxton Smith after she ditched her approved commencement address to recite an off-script speech slamming the “heartbeat bill,” which was recently signed into law in Texas.
Smith took to the stage Sunday at her high school graduation and thanked her coach before she slipped out a smaller, quarter-folded piece of paper from inside her graduation gown.
“Today I was going to talk about TV and media and content because it’s something that’s very important to me, however, under light of recent events, it feels wrong to talk about anything but what is currently affecting me and millions of other women in this state,” Smith said to the crowd.
Smith went on to lambaste Senate Bill 8, which was signed into law by Texas Gov. Abbott on May 19. S.B. 8 will outlaw abortion in the state of Texas after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, regardless of whether the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest. Not surprisingly, many pro-life activists celebrate this as a landmark victory while many pro-abortion activists view it as an attack on women’s rights. The law will go into effect in September.
The speech, which quickly circulated on Twitter, garnered the attention of several outspoken liberal commentators and celebrities, from “The View” panelists to Hillary Clinton, who praised Smith for speaking out against the newly-signed law.
This took guts. Thank you for not staying silent, Paxton. https://t.co/DlwEgmMRGN— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 2, 2021
Brave https://t.co/2zKaxEyFFO— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) June 2, 2021
Paxton, thank you for having the courage of your convictions and inspiring Texas with your refusal to accept injustice as the price of participation in civic life.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 2, 2021
May we all use our place in this democracy to fight for what we believe to be right and follow your example! https://t.co/PS3ZR80Gl7
TEXAS VALEDICTORIAN BLASTS ABORTION LAW: Lake Highlands high school valedictorian Paxton Smith has gone viral for going off her approved script for her graduation speech to take a stand against the state’s latest abortion law — we react. https://t.co/f8u2wc159S pic.twitter.com/OsGeE163AD— The View (@TheView) June 3, 2021
Watch Smith's full speech here:
Lake Highlands High School valedictorian Paxton Smith used her 3-minute speech to attack Texas’ new restrictive abortion law after making a last-minute speech switch.— William Joy (@WilliamJoy) June 2, 2021
It's now gone viral. Tonight on @wfaa, you'll get to hear from her about everything that's happened since. pic.twitter.com/ShRwHZjDbZ