West Virginia’s Republican-led state Senate is debating a bill today that would ban nearly all abortions while making abortion care a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. West Virginia’s House of Delegates approved the bill Wednesday after hearing testimony from 90 members of the public who were allotted 45 seconds each. This is Addison Gardner, the youngest speaker.
Addison Gardner: “I am 12 years old. I attend Buffalo Middle School. I play for varsity volleyball, and I run track. My education is very important to me, and I plan on doing great things in life. If a man decides that I’m an object and does unspeakable and tragic things to me, am I, a child, supposed to carry and birth another child? Am I to put my body through the physical trauma of pregnancy? Am I to suffer the mental implications, a child who had no say in what was being done with my body? Some here say they are pro-life. What about my life?”