What an utter failure of modern society that young women believe they need to be able to kill their own unborn children to succeed.
This was one of the thoughts that came to National Review editor Kathryn Jean Lopez’s mind as she watched Texas valedictorian Paxton Smith criticize the Texas heartbeat law during her high school commencement ceremony.
“This dear, sweet girl,” Lopez responded. “… How many ways have we as a society failed her?”
Smith, who has since received national praise from mainstream news outlets and prominent pro-abortion supporters like Hillary Clinton, said she felt compelled to give the unapproved speech because women’s futures are at risk.
“As we leave high school, we need to make our voices heard,” Smith began her speech. “… in 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.”
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Smith claimed the heartbeat law is “dehumanizing” because it takes away women’s bodily autonomy. The law prohibits elective abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable.
“I hope you can feel how gut-wrenching it is, how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you,” Smith told her graduating class.
Responding this week, Lopez mourned how culture has deceived young women like Smith, teaching them that killing their unborn babies is normal and their ability to bear children is a hindrance rather than a blessing.
What’s dehumanizing is a culture telling her that her natural ability to bring life into the world is anything but amazing. How many ways have we as a society failed her? Sex is presented as something so casual, as if it’s akin to watching something on Netflix or TikTok. Starbucks in the morning, sex at night. Contraception next to the water bottle, as if they were the essentials for daily life. And of course, how much of TikTok involves explicit degradations of the human person? It doesn’t have to be this way.
A pro-life sidewalk counselor, Lopez said she sees the same deceptions when she witnesses outside abortion facilities.
“Abortion is not just an expectation, but a routine,” Lopez observed. “The workers and patients there think that abortion is the responsible thing. Is that what they would want for their own children? Why aren’t we setting up young people for actual joy instead of managing miseries?”
Lopez said she is not angry at Smith, she is angry at the adults in society who have failed her and so many other young women.
Rather than cherish and celebrate women’s unique ability to bear children, society sets them up for a “cruel journey,” telling them that they need to focus on “career and sexual autonomy,” she continued. Then, many women realize too late in life that they wanted children, Lopez wrote.
She quoted a mother who, like her, lamented the cruel deceptions being pushed on Smith and so many others.
“What the h— are we selling our kids? Children — they don’t make women less than. They don’t stand in your way. They aren’t a barrier to your dreams. Abortion isn’t some great equalizer. The act of killing an unborn human does not make the world better for women,” the mother wrote on social media.
The Texas heartbeat law could save tens of thousands of unborn babies’ lives every year if it is not blocked by the courts. In 2019, more than 56,600 unborn babies were aborted in the state, according to state health statistics.
Each of those numbers represents a unique, living human being – a child in the womb. Each also represents a mother who has been deceived and hurt, sometimes physically, sometimes psychologically by the lies of the abortion industry.
These babies deserved life and their mothers deserved to know the truth that motherhood is a precious gift, an ability to be celebrated and treasured, not thrown away.