A 19-year-old abortion rights activist has raised more than $460,000 for abortion access after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) publicly targeted her over her appearance.
“Dear Matt, Although your intentions were hateful, your public shaming of my appearance has done nothing but benefit me,” Olivia Julianna wrote in a thank you note to the congressman on Twitter. “Your hateful comments towards me will quite literally help pay for abortion services.”
“Lol. Get rekt,” she added.
Julianna, who lives in Miami and works with the youth-led activist group Gen-Z for Change, was singled out by Gaetz after she blasted him for misogynistic comments he made at a right-wing student conference in Florida last weekend. Gaetz told attendees that abortion rights protesters were unattractive and overweight and wondered why “women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions?”
Gaetz, who is under federal investigation for alleged sex trafficking and the statutory rape of a 17-year-old girl, then tweeted an image of Julianna with the caption: “Dander raised.”
Gaetz’s attack sparked a rush of hateful and supportive messages on Julianna’s social media pages, which she utilized to drive donations to a Gen Z for Change fundraiser that provides abortion assistance in every U.S. state.
“In honor of Matt Gaetz publicly body shaming me, I’ll be fundraising for the @genzforchange abortion fund,” she tweeted Monday.
The effort was rapidly approaching its $500,000 goal by Wednesday.
“I’m a 19 year old queer Latina ― and that’s why these politicians fear me,” Julianna said. “Matt Gaetz and other Republicans are coming at organizers with these childish attacks because they know women across the country are mobilizing.”