The Corner

Film & TV

The ‘Right to Choose’ What, Michelle Williams?

77th Golden Globe Awards Beverly Hills, Calif., January 5, 2020 – Michelle Williams poses backstage. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

At yesterday evening’s Golden Globes awards ceremony, a number of celebrities failed to heed the excellent advice that comedian Ricky Gervais doled out in his opening monologue: Stop lecturing viewers about politics. One of the many subsequent lecturers was actress Michelle Williams, who used her acceptance speech to talk about the importance of the “right to choose” without once saying the word abortion.

“I’m grateful for the acknowledgement of the choices I’ve made,” Williams said, collecting an award for her role on Fosse/Verdon, “and I’m also grateful to have lived in a moment in our society where choice exists, because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice.”

Williams is referring, of course, to pregnancy, speaking as if women all over the world mystically find themselves pregnant without having chosen to engage in an act that has the natural end of creating a distinct human life. This language is typical of abortion-rights supporters, who insist that women need abortion so that they can choose whether or not to “become mothers,” ignoring the fact that a pregnant woman already has a child inside of her and therefore already is a mother.

Next, Williams asserted that her various achievements would have been impossible “without employing a woman’s right to choose,” obliquely revealing that she had an abortion and believes she wouldn’t have been successful without having done so. Far from being a powerful feminist argument, this pervasive pro-abortion sentiment denigrates women’s capabilities by demanding that they subvert biology in order to succeed. Rather than empowering women, Williams is telling them that they won’t be able to fulfill their dreams without exercising the right to kill their own unborn children, that they must use violence against a vulnerable human being in order to get ahead.

Williams concluded by suggesting that opposition to abortion could only be the result of individuals imposing their religious values on society — ignoring the hundreds of thousands of pro-life people who don’t believe in God — and called on women to vote in their “self-interest,” i.e., in favor of candidates who support abortion: “Women 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. Let’s make it look more like us.”

With this closing remark, the actress implied that any woman voting in her self-interest necessarily would vote to support the right to abortion and perhaps even that all women have a responsibility to do so.

Little about Williams’s speech was atypical of the pro-abortion drivel that comes out of Hollywood — it was rote and predictable and almost surely didn’t change a single person’s mind. Far more notable than what Williams said was what she didn’t say: “Abortion.” In a speech of several minutes, Williams didn’t once say the word abortion, even as she asserted that, without having had one, she wouldn’t be where she is today.

In her parlance, Williams “employed the right to choose.” But the right to choose what? No one disagrees that women have the right to make their own choices. The abortion debate exists not because a large faction believes women should be deprived of the “right to choose” but rather because of the choice in question: to end the life of a distinct human being. Abortion-rights supporters such as Williams aren’t part of the debate at all because they are intentionally deceptive about the heart of the argument. And who can blame them? It’s far easier to issue euphemistic speeches about women’s empowerment to thunderous applause than it is to defend the taking of an innocent human life.

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