Teen Activist Body-shamed by Rep. Matt Gaetz Raises $1.5 Million for Miscarriage Funds!
A teenager who says Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., made fun of her body and has raised more than $1.5 million in just three days to pay for abortions.
“A sitting Republican congressman, @mattgaetz, thought it was okay to body shame a teenager,” Olivia Julianna, a 19-year-old activist and political strategist for the progressive non-profit Gen Z for Change, wrote on Twitter Thursday. “So, to get back at him, I raised $1 million for abortion funds in less than three days. Abortion is health care. End of story.”
Gaetz told a group of young people at a Turning Point USA conference on Saturday that women who support abortion rights are “the least likely to get pregnant” because of how they look.
“They’re like 5’2, 350 pounds and they’re like ‘give me my abortions or I’ll get up and march and protest’ and I’m thinking: ‘March? You look like you got ankles weaker than the legal reasoning behind Roe vs. Wade,'” Gaetz said.
The interaction led Julianna and Gen Z for Change to start a fundraiser. According to the fundraiser page, all of the money raised will be “split evenly” between 50 local abortion funds across the country.
Julianna told Teen Vogue in an interview that Gaetz’s tweet led to hateful comments about her body over email, including one where the subject line was “MATT.” But the Texas-based activist is making the most of it.
“I knew I could make the best of the situation because that’s what I do. I have to do it, “Teen Vogue, she told. “People hate me because I’m 19 and they think I’m a dumb kid, but I’m a political strategist for one of the biggest youth groups in the country. It was almost like Matt Gaetz gave this to me.”
Her work has been praised by both elected officials and activists, such as actress Busy Phillips and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Joel Valdez, a spokesman for Gaetz, told USA TODAY that since Roe v. Wade was overturned, America is now a “pro-life nation,” and that “no amount of solicitations will change that.” He also said that Gaetz didn’t talk about Julianna’s weight in his post, but “leftist media” did.