A pro-life classmate of Texas valedictorian Paxton Smith responded this week to the teen’s viral speech promoting abortion at their high school commencement ceremony.
Ilona Bistrian, who graduated from Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas in December, said she was “appalled” by Smith’s abortion advocacy, the Daily Wire reports.
“To say that one must have an abortion to be able to accomplish their dreams is not only a slap in the face to the millions of women who have worked hard to overcome their obstacles as a mother, but it is degrading to women as a whole,” Bistrian responded in a column published at Live Action.
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Smith received widespread publicity and praise earlier this month for her commencement speech criticizing the new Texas heartbeat law. The legislation prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy.
Smith, who switched to an unapproved speech at the last minute, slammed the pro-life law as “dehumanizing” because it would “have the autonomy over your own body taken from you.”
Bistrian responded: “It is interesting because at first glance I fully agree with this statement. But on closer examination, when discovering that this statement is arguing in favor of one of the worst crimes and atrocities being committed upon mothers and their children, I was appalled!”
She said Smith basically has the right idea about human rights, but she does not apply it equally to everyone.
“There is nothing more dehumanizing than to have your personhood be stripped away from you and have your body mercilessly ripped apart while you are still alive, with no voice and no way to defend yourself,” Bistrian wrote, referring to babies in the womb.
“There is nothing more gut-wrenching than advocating for the exploitation of women’s bodies, the rape of their womb, and the profit that is produced from it,” she continued. “Have we really allowed ourselves to become so blind? How can we tolerate the obliteration of the most vulnerable?”
She also responded to Smith’s criticism that the heartbeat law does not include an exception for victims of rape. Bistrian said unborn babies conceived in rape are still valuable.
“Does the circumstance of conception determine human worth now? Are children who could not control the manner of how they were brought into existence subhuman and inferior to those who were conceived conventionally?” she wrote. “Are we to teach young women who have gone through this terrible trauma that they cannot succeed in life if they choose to keep their child?”
She said adoption is a loving option for mothers who decide that they cannot take care of their babies.
Bistrian agreed with Smith that there is a “war” against women’s bodies, but stopping abortion isn’t it. She said the real battle is against the demeaning notion that women need to be able to abort their unborn babies to succeed.
“There is nothing more beautiful than to bring a new human into the world,” she wrote. “… And that ability is being warred on, in an attempt to degrade it to nothing, to tear it down to the status of a disease. There is a war on our human rights. Or more specifically, the right to life.”
The right to life is the most foundational of all rights, and without it no other right exists, she said.
“We can no longer be silent. We can no longer be complicit in this crime against humanity,” Bistrian concluded. “I am in full support of the Texas heartbeat bill, and any future law that is passed to protect the human in the womb. Because at the end of the day, we are all human. And by virtue of being human, we are all entitled — born or preborn — to dignity, respect, and to life.”