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Politics: Teen activist body-shamed by Rep. Matt Gaetz raises $1.5 million for abortion funds

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A teenager who says she was body-shamed by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has raised more than $1.5 million for abortion funds in just three days.

"A sitting Republican congressmen, @mattgaetz, decided that body shaming a teenager was okay," Olivia Julianna, a 19-year-old activist and political strategist for the progressive non-profit Gen Z for Change, wrote on Twitter Thursday. "So to spite him I raised $1 million in donations to abortion funds in under 72 hours. Abortion is healthcare. Period."

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., says he and his family are the targets of an extortion plot. © Stephen M. Dowell/AP Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., says he and his family are the targets of an extortion plot.

At a Turning Point USA conference Saturday, Gaetz told a crowd of young people that women who support abortion rights are those with the "least likelihood of getting pregnant" because of their looks.

Top anti-abortion activist slams GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz for mocking the physical appearance of pro-abortion rights protestors

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"They're like 5'2, 350 pounds and they're like 'give me my abortions or I'll get up and march and protest' and I'm thinking: 'March? You look like you got ankles weaker than the legal reasoning behind Roe vs. Wade,'" Gaetz said.

Gaetz' comments: Florida congressman Matt Gaetz to abortion rights protesters: 'Nobody wants to impregnate you'

In response to his comments, Julianna tweeted Sunday that she's "actually 5’11. 6’4 in heels. I wear them so the small men like you are reminded of your place." Later that day, Gaetz tweeted a screenshot of Julianna's profile picture to his 1.4 million followers, suggesting that she was one of the abortion rights activists made angry by his comments.

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The interaction led Julianna and Gen Z for Change to post a fundraiser for which all donations will be "split evenly" between 50 local abortion funds nationwide, according to the fundraiser page.

Julianna told Teen Vogue in an interview that Gaetz' tweet led to hateful comments about her body over email, including one where the subject line was "MATT." But the Texas-based activist is making the most of it.

"I knew I would be able to make the best out of the situation because that’s what I do. It’s my job," she told Teen Vogue. "People hate me because I’m 19 and think I’m a doe-eyed kid but I’m a political strategist for one of the biggest youth organizations in the country. This was almost like a gift from Matt Gaetz."

Her efforts have been lauded by elected officials and activists alike, including former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and actress Busy Phillips.

Fact check: In Alabama, sentencing varies for illegal abortion, rape

  Fact check: In Alabama, sentencing varies for illegal abortion, rape Penalties for abortion and rape in Alabama depend on various factors such as the defendant's previous convictions, experts told USA TODAY.Some social media users are spreading an out-of-context comparison between penalties for unauthorized abortions and rape in the state.

Joel Valdez, a spokesperson for Gaetz, told USA TODAY that with Roe's demise, America is a "pro-life nation" and that "no amount of solicitations will change that." He added that Gaetz did not mention Julianna's weight in his post, "leftist media did."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Teen activist body-shamed by Rep. Matt Gaetz raises $1.5 million for abortion funds

Kansas abortion amendment vote seen as a bellwether for post-Roe era .
Voters in Kansas will weigh in directly on the issue of abortion, deciding whether to amend the state constitution to allow greater restrictions on the procedure. Kansas primary election ballots include a proposal to amend the state constitution to explicitly disavow the right to access abortion. It will be the first popular vote on abortion rights in nearly 50 years. In reversing Roe in June, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion should be left to individual states.

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