Matt Gaetz helped teenage girl raise over $1 million for abortion rights

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Olivia Julianna, 19, teen abortion activist, and Matt Gaetz, 40, Republican Representative from Florida. (Photos: Callaghan OHare for The Washington Post via Getty Images and evin Dietsch/Getty Images)

A young abortion rights activist shamed by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz’s body is now publicly thanking him for helping her raise more than $1 million for her cause.

Olivia Julianna, 19, launched a campaign with her group, Gen-Z for Change, to raise money for abortion rights after the Florida Republican said in a speech over the weekend that women who fight for access to abortion usually weigh “350 pounds” and the ones “no one wants to impregnate”.

“Incumbent Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz has decided that shaming a teenager is okay,” Julianna tweeted. “So to spite him, I collected $1 million in donations for abortion funds in less than 72 hours.”

For three days, donations poured in and Julianna repeatedly thanked Gaetz, 40, for handing her a nationwide platform, while slamming Gaetz, who is being investigated over allegations he could have had sex with a minor and possibly violated federal sex-trafficking laws. Gaetz vehemently denied ever having sex with minors and said the allegations amounted to “extortion”.

It all started with Gaetz’s speech at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit. TPUSA is a non-profit conservative association for young people.

“Did you watch those pro-abortion, pro-murder rallies? People are just disgusting,” Gaetz said. “Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb.”

Julienne then tweeted, “It has come to my attention that Matt Gaetz—suspected pedophile—has said that it’s always the ‘odious…5”2, 350 pound women that ‘nobody wants to impregnate’ who stand up for abortion. I’m actually 5″11. 6″4 in heels. I wear them so little men like you remember where you belong.

Gaetz then tweeted a photo singling out Julianna with the caption “raised dander…”

In a report, Julianna said while posting the photo, Gaetz “alludes to me fitting the deeply misogynistic description he gave.” She said she has since received an onslaught of hate and misogyny from her followers.

In a statement to VICE News, Gaetz spokesperson Joel Valdez said, “Rep Gaetz never mentioned adult weight. You and other leftist media have done it.

The interaction inspired Julianna to raise money for abortion funds across the country, and she thanked Gaetz for presenting her with a “national spotlight on a silver platter” which helped her advocacy group win $1.4 million and climbing.

“1 million dollars raised for abortion funds in less than 72 hours. #ThanksMattGaetz,” Julianna tweeted, alongside a photo of Gaetz that reads, “How’s that for dander? Get rekt.

Valdez told VICE News that “with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, America is now a pro-life nation. No amount of stress will change that.

Julianna freed another official statement on Thursday saying the funds will help pregnant women get abortions. She called Gaetz’s comments about her “reprehensible, disgusting and downright despicable.”

“But I’m glad he directed his bigotry in my direction. We have now turned hate into health care, and people across the country will be able to access abortion services because of this,” Julianna said.

The money raised will go to 50 funds in states that implemented abortion bans after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Follow Anya Zoledziowski on Twitter.

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