Actress Scarlett Johansson attends Variety's 10th Power of Women Luncheon presented by Lifetime Television, Oct. 14, 2016 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California.
October 17, 2016 4:45 PM EDT

Scarlett Johansson praised the work of Planned Parenthood and criticized the politicization of women’s bodies in a powerful speech.

Speaking at Variety‘s Power of Women Luncheon event on Friday in L.A., the actress defended the right of women to make their own choices about their body whilst accepting an award for her work with Planned Parenthood. Johansson was presented with the award by Iron Man co-star Robert Downey Jr, and joined British actress Helen Mirren, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, transgender actress Laverne Cox and singer Miley Cyrus among the list of honorees at the event.

“Planned Parenthood has always been there for me and for the 2.5 million men and women who rely on their services annually,” said the actress, who is a strong advocate of the reproductive health organization’s work. Johansson referred to Planned Parenthood’s services such as early cancer screening that enable “people to be in control of their future and their body”.

“A woman’s right to choose what to do with her body shouldn’t just be a woman’s rights issues. It’s the year 2016 and this is a human rights issue. A woman’s right to choose is a deeply personal one and should not be a part of anyone’s political platform,” she said. “It is about honoring and respecting women and upholding the law. It is time that we all stand with Planned Parenthood for our sisters, our mothers, our friends and our daughters.”




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