The “What Men Want” actress used the unlikely BET Awards 2022 stage to slam the court for taking away women’s rights and access to abortion.
Fans were unsurprised by Henson’s stand on the ban as she has been vocal about many social issues like police brutality.
Taraji P. Henson Is Less Than Pleased With The Court’s Decision On Abortion
Although the BET Awards is known for its fashion, celebration, and fun, PEOPLE disclosed that the event had a profound moment when Henson climbed the stage for her opening speech.
The “Empire” star started by praising her fellow celebrities for their representation of “Black excellence” and said that the night was dedicated to recognizing, celebrating, and honoring the well-deserving people in the crowd.
She then proceeded to appreciate Lizzo for not only giving her all during her performance of “About D*mn Time” but also pledging to donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to reverse Roe v. Wade.
For curious minds, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, was a landmark decision of SCOTUS, which determined that the U.S. Constitution generally protected a pregnant woman’s right to abortion.
While admonishing her peers that it was time for them to do more, the 51-year-old actress and singer said:
“It’s about time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman. It’s a sad day in America. A weapon that can take lives has more rights than a woman that can give life if she wants to.”
Henson has joined the list of several female stars like Megan Thee Stallion to speak against the court’s controversial decision, which led to nationwide protests throughout the weekend.
However, it has gone beyond speaking up and protesting for the actress. Anyone who knows Henson knows how passionate she is when issues like police brutality occur.
But that is gradually changing as she said she does not want to do another hashtag to seek justice for a Black person who suffers at the hands of the police.
According to The Blast, the Howard University alum revealed that she was thinking about moving to a different country because continuously fighting to be treated as an equal had lost its appeal.
For her, she “fought,” “chanted,” “marched,” and just wanted a break from it all in a place “where there’s neutral ground.”
This new place would allow her “to just be. And be happy. I want to be called ‘Bella’ every day, drink wine, and swat flies on the porch. Stress-free.”
The “Acrimony” star claimed that her age might be responsible for her newfound need to escape stress and struggle. In her words:
“I’ve accomplished a lot, and I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m at the point now where if I say, ‘I quit, I’m going to go travel the world,’ I can. It’s so freeing.”
Michelle Obama Can Relate To The “Hidden Figures” Star’s Frustrations
Just like Henson, the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, is heartbroken over the current state of events in the U.S.
She said that her heart was shattered for young girls who had zero chances of finishing school and living the life of their dreams because their “state controls her reproductive decisions.”
Obama also felt pain for women who were forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term and for parents who had to watch as their children’s future evaporated “before their very eyes.”
The Harvard Law School alum’s sadness extended to “the health care workers who can no longer help them without risking jail time.”
She ended her statement by encouraging her followers and fans to direct their “frustration and anger towards getting more involved.”
Former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton added her voice with a statement by calling the Roe v. Wade reversal “a step backward for women’s rights and human rights.”
Through the post’s Instagram caption, the former lawyer asked her supporters to join her in re-committing to helping people get access to the care they needed to “protect reproductive freedom for everyone in America.”
Since the ruling, clinics in Wisconsin, Alabama, South Dakota, Arkansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Missouri, and West Virginia ceased abortion operations, with other states providing limited options based on varied stipulations.