Michelle Williams Image copyright Reuters

Michelle Williams has been praised by fellow actors after giving an impassioned speech about women’s rights at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards.

The 39-year-old made the comments, which alluded to abortion, after picking up one of the acting awards.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose,” she said. “To choose when to have my children, and with whom.”

But she came in for criticism from anti-abortion commentators in the US.

The four-time Oscar nominee won the Golden Globe for best actress in a limited series or TV movie for her role in drama series Fosse/Verdon.

“I am grateful to live in a moment in our society where choice exists, because as girls and women, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice,” she told the ceremony.

“I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making, not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I could stand back and look at and recognise my handwriting all over, sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I carved with my own hand.”

Williams and actor Heath Ledger had a daughter in 2005, and the star is now expecting a child with director Thomas Kail.

She was applauded by stars in Los Angeles for encouraging women of all ages to vote “in your own self-interest” in this year’s US presidential election.

“It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them,” she said.

Reese Witherspoon described her acting colleague as a “champion of women” and an “inspiration”, while the Time’s Up movement, which aims to end harassment and gender discrimination, thanked Williams for her remarks.

Williams’ speech came three months after she tackled the issue of gender pay inequality in her Emmy Awards acceptance speech.

“Michelle Williams again drops truth!” wrote Jamie Lee Curtis after the Golden Globes speech.

In making a politically-driven speech, Williams had ignored host Ricky Gervais’s humorous request for winners not to do so.

While many applauded her for it, others, including US President Donald Trump’s legal advisor Jenna Ellis, strongly criticised her.

Other conservative commentators took issue with her message, with political comedian and author Tim Young writing: “Regardless what side you’re on, abortion should be more solemn than paraphrased: If you have one, you can win awards like me!”

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