Henson first thanked opening performer Lizzo for pledging $1 million to Planned Parenthood before using the singer’s song titled, “About Damn Time” to make a point.
“It’s about damn time we step into our power,” Henson said. “It’s about damn 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 power than a woman who can give life if she chooses to,” Henson added.
At the BET Awards, singer and actress Janelle Monáe presented the first award of the night, best female/R&B artist, and hailed Black artists – women in particular.
“Owning our truth and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body and our decisions,” she said. “My decision. F*** you, Supreme Court.”
Jazmine Sullivan won the award and during her acceptance speech addressed the men of the world.
“It’s a hard time right now for us [women] and I want to speak directly to the men,” Sullivan said. “We need y’all. We need y’all to stand up for us, stand up with us. If you’ve ever benefited from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing with us.”
“This is not just a woman’s issue,” she said. “This is everybody’s issue. And we need you more than ever.”
A slide reading “Roe v Wade” was also included in the show’s “In Memoriam” segment.