The world would have you believe that every last high school- and college-aged person in America is a radical leftist who favors a woman’s ability to choose to terminate a tiny human. This is simply untrue. Those who believe that every life has intrinsic value regardless of their location inside or outside the womb do exist, we are just not given the same coverage.

The 2021 valedictorian of Lake Highlands High School, Paxton Smith, has been a great example of this. She has been sensationalized by figures such as Hillary Clinton and Beto O’Rourke for dedicating her valedictory address to pushing the pro-choice agenda by defaming the Texas Heartbeat Act. I am here to say that not only does her speech falsely embody the beliefs of the American youth, but her opinions also wholly demonstrate the manipulation of today’s women.

My name is Faith Montgomery, and I am set to be the valedictorian of the Dickinson High School 2022 graduating class. I am also an advocate for the rights of both the women of today and the unborn women of tomorrow. As that advocate, I would like to clear up a few misconceptions about the idea that life does not begin with conception, as presented by Miss Smith.

Smith stated that “before [women] have the chance to decide if they can take on the responsibility of bringing another human being into the world, that decision is made for them by a stranger.” I think that she must have forgotten that she lives in America—because here in America, we are given every kind of choice. We have the choice to use or to not use contraception, the choice of what age we choose to engage in sexual behaviors, the choice of who we have intercourse with, and the choice of the financial circumstances under which we participate in an activity that could end in pregnancy.

For those who weren’t given these choices due to heinous crimes such as rape, I stand with you. I stand with you to take the blame off of women and pass more stringent legislation against the criminals who deserve to be punished for their crime. However, I think that it is important to remember who committed the crime—the unborn child or the sex offender? If the answer is the assailant, which it always will be, then why can he get away with jail time while the baby receives capital punishment?

Smith also mentioned that her hopes, dreams, and aspirations rely on her ability to have an abortion. Now, this statement is just revolting in every sense. How and why do your lifelong goals depend on your ability to contribute to genocide? As a fellow valedictorian who has worked for every last GPA point, I must say, I thought she would be smarter than that!

My goal was and still is to fill the No. 1 slot at my graduation. Filling that spot has depended on two things and two things only: 1) The hard work that I put in every single day, including hours upon hours of homework and countless shots of espresso; 2) my ability to make and be held accountable for my behaviors, especially those in which a new life is created.

All life, including both that which is new and that which has matured, has value. Every single child that has been aborted has had a unique genetic sequence that can never be recreated. The next generation of musicians, scientists, daughters, sons, and teachers is being eradicated. Smith remarked that she hoped we could see how “gut-wrenching” it is to be unable to make your own decisions regarding abortion, but I hope that she can see how truly gut-wrenching it is to see these lives erased from the course of history.

Pro-choicers such as Smith feel as though their autonomy over their own body has been taken away from them. Women have been conditioned to believe that it is their body, so it’s their choice. Except, what if it wasn’t their own body?

A pregnant mother still only has 10 fingers and 10 toes, not 20 of each. Furthermore, there is an entirely separate organism that resides within their body. An organism with unique DNA, separate from that of the mother. An organism that will mature to have its own hopes, dreams, and aspirations. An organism that deserves a chance at life despite the conditions in which it may have been conceived.

Smith concluded her speech by stating that she “refuse[s] to give up this platform to promote peace and complacency when there is a war on [her] rights and [her] body.” Again, I must say to women across the world, it is not just your body. Additionally, if there is a war on her rights, then so be it. The “right to abortion” as granted by Roe v. Wade is an invented right. There is no diction within the Constitution that justifies a woman having an abortion. What is justified by the Constitution is that all people, even tiny ones, are entitled to the inalienable right to life.

I thank God for great legislators who see Roe v. Wade for the farce that it is. Specifically, I thank God for State Sen. Bryan Hughes and State Rep. Shelby Slawson, who cared about women enough to fight through the lies, half-truths, and mischaracterizations that came from their opponents; and Governor Greg Abbott, who did his part to sign the Texas Heartbeat Act into law.

Because of the actions of these brave men and women who chose to fight in this war against women, countless women will never have to endure the pain and regret that too many in Texas have already experienced. The Texas Heartbeat Act is right in stating that “the State of Texas never repealed, either expressly or by implication, the state statutes enacted before the ruling in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), that prohibit and criminalize abortion unless the mother’s life is in danger,” and I stand with the Texas Legislature and our governor in the recognition of this reality. This war against women is worth fighting, and I am glad that I am on the side that is not just pro-life, but truly pro-women.

I hope that moving forward, Smith can develop respect for the unborn. They are worthy of love and care. The Texas Heartbeat Act helps ensure that every baby is given the love and respect that they deserve. I am in full agreement with the bill and any other piece of legislation that furthers the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves.

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Faith Montgomery

Faith Montgomery attends Texas A&M where she majors in Engineering. Originally from Dickinson, Faith is passionate about pro-life issues and worked alongside Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn to attempt to outlaw abortion within Dickinson city limits.