Bullied by Gaetz, Teen Raises $115K for a 'Cause He Hates'

Olivia Julianna, 19, says money will be split between abortion funds
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2022 8:17 AM CDT
Bullied by Gaetz, Teen Raises $115K 'For a Cause He Hates'
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., addresses attendees during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit, Saturday, in Tampa, Fla.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

A teen activist who received hateful messages after Rep. Matt Gaetz shared a photo of her online says she won the "rumble" in the end. Olivia Julianna, a 19-year-old political strategist with Gen-Z for Change who uses her first and middle names, says she raised roughly $115,000 to support abortion rights in just over a day, per the Washington Post. "When a sitting congressmen tries to weaponize your appearance because you're an abortion rights activist, you raise money for a cause he hates," the Texas resident tells the Houston Chronicle. Gaetz, R-Fla., had tweeted Julianna's photo after she criticized a speech he gave Saturday at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa.

"Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about abortions? Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb," the congressman told the audience. "These people are odious from the inside out... They're like 5-2, 350 pounds, and they're like, 'Give me my abortions or I'll get up and march and protest.'" After Julianna addressed the comments and referenced sex trafficking allegations against Gaetz, he shared a Newsmax article that claimed his speech would "raise [the] dander of his political opponents" alongside Julianna's photo. "Dander raised…" he wrote to his 1.4 million followers. She responded: "Am I not a little too old for you Matt? I know you have a thing for targeting teenagers but 19 is on the cusp don't you think?"

Julianna has accused Gaetz of urging his followers to harass her, and shared a screenshot of one horrifying message she received. "His insults and targeted attacks toward me do not deter me—they make me thrive," she said, per the Chronicle. "In fact, I'd like to thank Gaetz for bringing attention to me and my work." She announced Tuesday that she'd helped raise $115,000, to be split between 50 abortion funds in various states, in 24.5 hours. "This is absolutely the most insane amount of donations we have had thus far from individuals," she tells the Post. Gaetz has only repeated his attacks on abortion activists, stating they are "ugly and overweight" and anyone offended by his remarks should "be offended." (Read more Matt Gaetz stories.)

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