Texan Valedictorian Addresses The State’s Anti-Abortion Bill After Dropping Her Approved Speech At The Last Minute

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a law banning abortion from as early as 6 weeks. And Paxton Smith has a problem with it.

The valedictorian of Lake Highlands High School’s Class of 2021 decided to abandon her original, approved speech and pulled a last-second switcheroo to talk about what’s most important to her: women’s rights.

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When Smith came up to the microphone, she took out a piece of paper secretly tucked into her shirt and addressed the school with confidence. But her powerful words have spread way beyond Lake Highlands. Clips of her remarks have quickly gone viral on social media and are now making headlines around the world.

Here’s a video of Paxton’s speech

Initially, she had planned to talk about TV and the media

Image credits: Juan Figueroa/ Dallas News

To learn more about pregnancy and abortion, Bored Panda contacted general practitioner, medical researcher, and founder of PrimeHealth Clinical Research, Iris Gorfinkel, M.D.

After we asked her when do most women learn they’re pregnant, Gorfinkel said, “I actually looked that up and found that it is, in fact, consistent with my own experience—about three-quarters of the time, women learn at five and a half weeks.”

The time varies because, as Gorfinkel pointed out, most women don’t go exactly 28 days between periods; a lot of them experience periods anywhere between 26 and 35 days. “When the period is late, a lot of women figure ‘Oh, I’ll just wait a few days, and it’ll come up.’ And then when it doesn’t begin, that’s when they get clued in, and that can be five weeks to six weeks,” the doctor explained.

Why is that? “The convention of counting pregnancy starts from the first day of the last period,” Gorfinkel said. “What’s weird about this convention is that women are two weeks pregnant before they realize they’re pregnant (ovulation takes place midway in the cycle). So in an average cycle of 28 days, ovulation — the time a woman is most likely to conceive — is at 14 days after the period starts, and a woman conceives on that day and doesn’t realize she’s pregnant until her period is late, that might be 35 days. She’s by definition, five weeks pregnant. Already, that throws a lot of women off.”

Image credits: Paxton Smith

So that’s three-quarters of women. But what about that one-quarter? After all, that’s still a lot of cases. Well, they don’t realize they’re pregnant until much later. Generally speaking, they’re younger women, they’re more likely to be black or hispanic, and they’re more likely to have low education and low socioeconomic status. “What’s more concerning is that these women also are more likely to not have wanted to become pregnant and to engage in higher-risk behaviors,” Gorfinkel said.

“The downstream effect is that these women are more likely to have a baby with birth defects, they are more likely to give preterm birth, their babies are more likely to have low birth weights as well as wind up in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Furthermore, these women are also more likely to have a natural pregnancy loss [Gorfinkel doesn’t like the term ‘miscarriage’, and has actually written a wonderful piece on why we should replace it].”

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“That said, these are the very women who need to have abortion as an available option the most.”

Image credits: lakehighlands

The law bans abortions after the detection of what anti-abortion campaigners call a fetal heartbeat. It is also unique in giving any individual the right to sue anyone who knowingly “aids and abets” an abortion, meaning that people could sue, say, friends and family who help someone obtain an abortion. Or an Uber driver who simply drove the woman.

Healthcare workers and women’s rights groups have heavily criticized the law, which will take effect in September if it is not stopped by a court.

In May, Texas became the latest and largest US state to pass abortion restrictions. The news came just days after the US Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could upend the nationwide legal right to abortion, laid out in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

Here’s what people said after listening to Paxton’s thoughts on abortion

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The post Texan Valedictorian Addresses The State’s Anti-Abortion Bill After Dropping Her Approved Speech At The Last Minute first appeared on Bored Panda.

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