I graduated back in 2010 and I wished I could have given a speech to my class and community. I have sat through a few where everything is just sunshine and rainbows about the future to come for graduates. Life isn't that.

Living in a small town, we are sheltered children who pretend life is hard. Yet, we haven't really lived our lives on our own, until we graduate high school, at least in my opinion.

Some graduates may have already have had a hard childhood and can't wait to escape their current situation. Some graduates might have already peaked while in high school. Every situation is different but the cultural and political situations at the time of our graduations are something that shouldn't be ignored.

2021 Lake Highlands High School valedictorian Paxton Smith didn't ignore the current state of Texas politics like most grads would. She took her opportunity to speak to a large Texas audience to attempt to put a serious situation into a different perspective. Paxton called attention to the war on women's bodies happening not only in Texas but in America.

The "heartbeat bill" was recently signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, which now outlaws any abortion after a first heartbeat can be detected. Some women do not even know they are pregnant when a heartbeat is detected, this can happen as early as six weeks after conception. Plus, this law will also allow anyone to sue a Texas abortion provider or anyone who helped someone get an abortion for as much as $10,000.

In September 2021 this law will go into effect but a fight will be coming from federal courts to enforce it.

As a Texas woman, I am constantly conflicted about my love for this state. When I see videos like this it reignites the hope I have for fellow Texas women to speak up against bills we are not given a chance to have a say about. Watch Smith make her speech and give her the attention she deserves.

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