After Governor Greg Abbott passed Senate Bill 8, or the Texas Heartbeat Act into law, pro-choice advocates seemed to have lost all hope for abortion, but a young voice became a beacon for them when Paxton Smith, a student at Lake Highlands High School delivered a commencement speech decrying abortion laws in Texas. The 2021 valedictorian's speech went viral, gaining reactions from both sides of the abortion argument. Most recently, a pro-life activist who regretted her abortion took to social media to air her thoughts on the viral pro-abortion speech promoting the death of the unborn.
"Please do not look up to girls like Paxton Smith. She may have the ability to string together emotionally driven words, but if they are not founded in truth it will lead to destruction. I know this so well," Toni McFadden, a mother of two, took to Facebook to write a letter to her daughters, Faithwire reported. She went on to recall how in senior high school, she had an unplanned pregnancy and decided to make the "huge mistake" of aborting her child.
"I believed the very lies that Ms. Smith relayed in her valedictorian speech," McFadden wrote. "When I found out I was pregnant I felt that my dreams, my goals, and my aspirations were being stripped from me. Knowing what I know now, they were simply feelings. Feelings change but truth does not."
McFadden said that when she was an "immature girl," she believed in the "lie" that if she would get an abortion, she would be able to "restore" her "dreams, goals, and aspirations." She soon learned that it was not true and had to live with the guilt and regret, which she "quickly pushed down to survive."
"There is nothing natural about taking the life of your own child. I do not care how empowering someone like Ms. Paxton may make it sound," McFadden argued.
"The reality is I had no right to take the life of my innocent child for my own selfish gain."
In May, pro-life advocates earned a victory when Gov. Abbott passed a measure that prohibits abortion as early as six weeks, which Smith argues is oftentimes too early. Women are often unaware that they are pregnant at six weeks. The strict abortion law does not include any exemptions for rape and incest cases, which many argue are unjust.
"I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail, I am terrified that if I am raped, then my hopes and aspirations and dreams and efforts for my future will no longer matter," Smith said in her now viral speech, as per NPR.
The pro-abortion activist also condemned lawmakers for overriding the autonomy of a woman on her own body. She admitted that she was surprised at the positive feedback she had been receiving since her speech went viral and admitted that she had also gained detractors.
One of those is McFadden, who disagrees with her but hopes that she would use her "gift of intelligence to protect life, not promote death."