Following her Golden Globe win for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie for FX’s Fosse/Verdon, a visibly pregnant Michelle Williams took time in her acceptance speech to emphasize the necessity of protecting abortion rights to allow more women to succeed. Though Williams is no stranger to dedicating her award show time to important causes (her Emmys Speech on equal pay, anyone?), using her time to share that she owes her career to “employing a woman’s right to choose” was a profound statement — especially given recent moves in congress requesting that the Supreme Court “reconsider” major abortion-related decisions (Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey).
“When you put this in someone’s hands, you’re acknowledging the choices that they make as an actor moment by moment, scene by scene, day by day — but you’re also acknowledging the choices they make as a person,” Williams said. “The education they pursued, the training they sought, the hours they put in. I’m grateful for the acknowledgement of the choices I’ve made and I’m also grateful to have lived at a moment in our society where choice exist because, as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice.”
Williams went on to share how her ability to make her own reproductive choices was essential to getting to where she is now as a mother and an actor:
“I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making and not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I can stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over — sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I carved with my own hand. And I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose. To choose when to have my children, and with whom. When I felt supported and able to balance our lives knowing, as all mothers know, that the scales must and will tip toward our children.”
Williams has one daughter, Matilda, 14, and is reportedly pregnant with her second child with her new fiancé, Hamilton director Thomas Kail. Though anti-abortion commenters questioned a pregnant woman advocating for abortion, it’s a move that makes a lot of sense (for Williams, who is set to star in Kimberly Peirce’s new film about the Jane collective — a group that worked to provide abortion services to women pre-Roe v. Wade), and just in general.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 59 percent of people who have abortions already have children. The decision to carry a pregnancy to term or not is a deeply personal one — and it’s also very much an economic one that requires a person to really consider their wants and needs of their family. So, of course, someone who is in the midst of a pregnancy (and already has a child) knows exactly how vital it is to be able to do so at the right time and on their own terms.
SheKnows Entertainment Editor Sara Kitnick was in the Golden Globes press room following the speech where Williams said, after the impact from her Emmys speech, she “couldn’t not say something else that was on [her] mind, in the hopes that someone would hear.”
Her words got some obvious support from the crowd (including a holler of support from Tiffany Haddish and glowing, adoring looks from Williams’ BFF/Soulmate Busy Philipps) and some extra love from viewers on Twitter throughout the night.
Tiffany Haddish yelling approval in the background during Michelle Williams’ speech was a heck of a thing. #GoldenGlobes
— Linda Holmes (@lindaholmes) January 6, 2020
— ilana kaplan (@lanikaps) January 6, 2020
Michelle Williams always comes with a fire speech. I’m glad *someone* was ready.
— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) January 6, 2020
YES. Michelle Williams gave a strong, POWERFUL abortion speech while pregnant, illustrating beautifully that people who have abortions and people who give birth to children are most often the SAME PEOPLE at different times of our lives 💗💯 #GoldenGIobes https://t.co/eWGK6SnuM3
— RHAvote (@RHAVote) January 6, 2020
Rounding out her speech, Williams called for people to show up and vote to protect the right to choose — and specifically called on women to vote in their own best interests (seen as a nod to the reported 53 percent of white women who reportedly voted for Trump in 2016) to create a more equitable world.
“Now, I know my choices might look different than yours, but thank God or whomever you pray to that we live in a country founded on the principle that I am free to live by my faith and you are free to live by yours,” she said. “So, women 18 to 118, when it is time to vote, please do so in your own self-interest. It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them. But don’t forget we are the largest voting body in this country, let’s make it look more like us.”
Top Video credit: Sara Kitnick / SheKnows. Shot on an iPhone 11 Pro provided by Apple.