As actress Michelle Williams points out, a choice is a powerful thing to have.
After winning a 2020 Golden Globe award for her role on the hit FX limited series “Fosse/Verdon,” Williams once again used an acceptance speech to do more than thank her loved ones. She began by talking about the choices she makes as a performer, but quickly pivoted to the greater importance of the reproductive choices she has been able to make as a woman.
“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,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose.” From there, Williams shifted to a more global point: that without the choice to grow their families when and how they choose, mothers the world over will consistently be held back — and women should vote with that in mind.
“I know my choices might look different than yours, but thank God or whoever you pray to that we live in a country founded on the principles that I am free to live by my faith and you are free to live by yours,” said Williams, who is reportedly pregnant.
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Of course, her speech sparked a significant amount of conversation online. But for us, it first and foremost brought to mind the work of entrepreneur Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder of Texas-based abortion clinic Whole Women’s Health. Miller started up with the goal of providing compassionate care to women seeking to end unwanted pregnancies.
Providing such services in a state — and indeed, a nation — where abortion access is increasingly in jeopardy is hardly a sound financial gamble. But like Williams, Miller believes in the power and importance of choice — even if that means weathering some pretty serious business storms. “I’m driven by this quest for human rights and justice,” she told us when we last spoke. “If profits were my driver, I would not be in this business.”
She added, “Patients are always so grateful, and people’s families are improved by the work we’re doing. I just have a tangible sense of making the world a better place.”
At the Golden Globes, Williams ended her speech by urging women to support politicians who support reproductive freedom. “[W]omen 18 to 118, when it is time to vote, please do so in your 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.”
She added, “Let’s make it look more like us.”