A teen activist has raised over $160,000 for abortion funds after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) mocked her appearance on Twitter.
Olivia Julianna, 19, parlayed the congressman’s attack into an opportunity to do some good, pinning a link to a fundraiser for Gen-Z for Change, which distributes donations to 50 local abortion funds across the U.S., to the top of her own Twitter account. The donations came pouring in.
By Tuesday night, Newsweek reported that the fundraiser had received $70K thanks to Julianna’s tweet. On Wednesday morning, Julianna told Today that the nonprofit had seen $168,000 in donations from more than 22,000 individual donors.
The attention stems from sexist and fat-phobic remarks Gaetz, who is under federal investigation for sex trafficking, made on July 23, calling pro-choice activists “disgusting” while speaking to conservative college students at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, Florida. He said that they are too fat and ugly to get pregnant so they shouldn’t have to worry about abortion.
“But why is it is that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions? Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb,” Gaetz said.
On Sunday afternoon, Julianna wrote on Twitter, “It’s come to my attention that Matt Gaetz — alleged pedophile — has said that it’s always the ‘odious.. 5’2 350 pound” women that ‘nobody wants to impregnate’ who rally for abortion. I’m actually 5’11, 6’4 in heels. I wear them so the small men like you are reminded of your place.”
In response, Gaetz published an image of Julianna taken from her personal Twitter account.
Julianna hit back with a tweet linking to the Gen-Z for Change fundraiser. “In honor of Matt Gaetz publicly body shaming me, I’ll be fundraising for the @genzforchange abortion fund,” she tweeted on Monday night.
“He just decided to go straight into body-shaming me,” Julianna told Today Parents. “So from there, I just started defending myself and thinking about how I can turn this situation into something positive that also could potentially do something good for the community.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Julianna went so far as to post a tongue-in-cheek thank you note to Gaetz. “Although your intentions were hateful, your public shaming of my appearance has done nothing but benefit me,” the note reads in part. “Your hateful comments towards me will quite literally help pay for abortion services.”
Well @mattgaetz, I have to hand it to you. I didn’t think you cared about us abortion rights activists, but your spotlight on me has helped raise $50K for abortion funds in the last 24 hours! So I made you a special thank you card ❤️
It almost feels like #MattGaetzIsProAbortion pic.twitter.com/sCxGVT4vzz
— Olivia Julianna 🗳 (@0liviajulianna) July 26, 2022