US teen raises almost RM5.8m for abortions after body-shamed by politician (VIDEO)

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PETALING JAYA, July 29 — A teenager used US congressman Matt Gaetz’s label of abortion-rights activists as too “ugly and overweight” to get pregnant to raise almost US$1.3 million (RM5.8 million) to fund abortions.

Gaetz had singled out 19-year-old activist Olivia Julianna by reposting her photo on Twitter, implying that she was among the ‘unattractive’ people he was referring to.

In response, Julianna began an abortion fund on Wednesday.

Leveraging on Gaetz’s body-shaming comments, Julianna has raised over a million dollars for abortions in mere days. — Pictures via Instagram/ 0liviajulianna
Leveraging on Gaetz’s body-shaming comments, Julianna has raised over a million dollars for abortions in mere days. — Pictures via Instagram/ 0liviajulianna

Leveraging on Gaetz’s body-shaming comments, Julianna has raised over a million dollars for abortions in mere days. — Pictures via Instagram/ 0liviajulianna

“I have struggled with eating disorders and body image issues my entire life, being hospitalised last December in part because of this,” said Juliana in a statement today.

“We have now turned hatred into healthcare, and people across the country will be able to get access to abortion services because of it.”

At an event in Florida last Saturday, Gaetz had said: “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,” he continued.

“These people are odious from the inside out.

“They’re like 5’2″ (157 centimetres), 350 pounds (158 kilogrammes).”

Gaetz appears to be doubling down on his comments on social media, even as he draws criticism over allegations of sexual misconduct. — Picture via Instagram/ repmattgaetz
Gaetz appears to be doubling down on his comments on social media, even as he draws criticism over allegations of sexual misconduct. — Picture via Instagram/ repmattgaetz

Gaetz appears to be doubling down on his comments on social media, even as he draws criticism over allegations of sexual misconduct. — Picture via Instagram/ repmattgaetz

The US Supreme Court in June overturned the constitutional right to abortion, causing several states in the country to ban or restrict access to the procedure.

Julianna tweeted her response to Gaetz, saying that she was 5’11 and wears heels so “small men like you are reminded of your place”.

She also referenced Gaetz’s ongoing scandal — the 40-year-old politician is currently being investigated for sex-trafficking and claims that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl in 2019.

Gaetz then fired back by sharing Julianna’s photo with the caption “Dander raised”, using the word ‘dander’ as slang for being angry.

“He just decided to go straight into body-shaming me,” Julianna said explaining her decision to set up the fund.

“So from there, I just started defending myself and thinking about how I can turn this situation into something positive that also could potentially do something good for the community.”

Julianna told Newsweek that she wanted to ‘thank’ Gaetz by gifting him a flower for every US$100,00 raised for the abortion fund.

She also expressed her gratitude on Twitter, by way of memes.

Meanwhile, Gaetz continues to draw criticism over allegations of his past misdeeds.

Aside from claims of paying a minor for sex, Insider reported that Gaetz has also been accused of coming up with ‘sex competitions’ while at the Florida statehouse, and sharing nudes of women he dated with fellow lawmakers.

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