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Pictured in paralel: Activist Olivia Julianna and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz
Activist Olivia Julianna leveraged the attention that followed Gaetz's comments and set-up an abortion fund. Photos: Getty Images.

Matt Gaetz body-shames pro-choice activist, triggers almost $30k in abortion donations

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COMPARTA ESTE CONTENIDO:

“The people are just disgusting,” were some of the choice words Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz offered at a right-wing event in July of 2022, referring to increasing pro-choice activism in the wake of a Post-Roe America. 

At an event sponsored by nonprofit Turning Point USA, founded by notable right-wing activist Charlie Kirk, several public officials, including Matt Gaetz, remarked on pro-choice activists harping on physical attributes.

"Why is it 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. 

WATCH:

The Student Action Summit three-day event hosted a variety of high-profile conservative figures, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former presidential Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Fox News reporter Laura Ingraham, and Jack Posobiec, among others. 

Gaetz inevitably drew media attention, particularly from right-leaning media outlets that reported on the Congressman’s comments. He responded with a picture of 19-year-old Olivia Julianna, a prominent activist and Texas native who garnered fame on TikTok for calling out Abbot’s response to a failing energy grid.

Julianna, currently a strategist at Gen-Z For Change with a following of 400k across two platforms, spared no expense when crafting her response, alluding to current accusations levied against Gaetz for pedophilia. 

Shortly after, Julianna seized the moment, garnered the attention of a far-reaching audience, and used the heated exchange to promote donations to abortion funds.

As of the time this piece was written, Julianna has thus far raised $35,000 in donations. 

Why it matters 

Gaetz is currently under investigation by Florida authorities for engaging in sexual acts with a 17-year old, obstruction of justice and sex trafficking, all of which he has denied. 

Though no charges have been made against the sitting Congressman, other members of the senate told Insider that Gaetz remains in power because he represents a bona-fide Trump ideal.

In January of 2022, Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend testified before a federal grand jury as to whether or not the Congressman broke sex-trafficking laws.

In an interview with CNN, Marc Short, former Chief of Staff for Vice President Mike Pence said: “I don’t think Matt Gaetz will have an impact. In fact, I’d be surprised if he was still voting. It’s more likely he’ll be in prison for child sex trafficking. I’m surprised law enforcement lets him speak to teenage conferences like that.”

The big picture

Since the landmark SCOTUS reversal, state legislatures are scrambling to keep up with an onslaught of anti-abortion legislature. Many have turned to local advocacy groups for outreach, remaining steady in what will become a bloody battlefield for abortion rights. 

Those residing in states where abortion is outlawed will seek to travel to places where abortion access is permitted under state-law. Abortion activists often stand in the way of harmful legislation, engaging with public officials to produce abortion-friendly measures. 

Many local organizations have been tasked with responding and aiding communities in securing reproductive health procedures which, in many cases, could be decisive of life or death. 

It remains unclear how the funds raised by Julianna would be distributed.

AL DÍA reached out to Julianna, but did not receive a response for comment. 

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