Turning Hatred into Healthcare

Newsletter editor Rachel here

This might be my favorite Woman Crush Wednesday so far. Her ongoing story is a huge win for women's reproductive rights. Let me tell you a bit about the young woman who is taking down the GOP one snarky tweet at a time. 


Last week, Olivia Julianna turned a body-shaming tweet from a Florida Senator into over 2.2 million dollars for abortion access funds. 


Gaetz– a republican congressman from Florida– had mocked abortion activists in a speech calling them overweight and unattractive. Julianna, the 19-year-old from texas, tweeted a response to his insults:


Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 10.25.55 AM


Like the spoiled bully that he is, Gaetz then tweeted her picture and a link to his speech out to his following of alt-right misogynist trolls. They responded with online harassment and attacks which Julianna took in a stride.


"His attempt to tear me down has not fazed me one bit," Julianna said, “I am glad he directed his bigotry in my direction.”


Growing up as a queer Latina in a small conservative rural Texas community, Julianna says she has dealt with insults from small-minded people her entire life but she is done tolerating them. 


Because of the media attention, Julianna was able to direct attention to her fundraiser. She along with the 500 other GenZ for Change members asked other pro-abortion rights activists to support the Gen Z for Change Fundraiser. Prior to her new campaign, the drive had raised $26,000. 


Within 72 hours, she had raised $1 million. The donations were a welcome surprise to abortion rights advocates. And the amount–which is growing daily– is enough to fund thousands of safe abortions for women. 


As the donations continue to roll in, the hashtag #ThanksMattGaetz is trending on Twitter. To which Julianna said, “Matt Gaetz just learned a very important lesson, and that is not to mess with Texas women.”


Now, a week later, the GenZ for Change Fundraiser has more than 2.2 million dollars– which is more than three times what some national abortion groups raise in an entire year. The money will be split among 50 abortion rights funds that provide access to abortion, birth control, and other essential reproductive healthcare. 


Julianna was shocked by the amount donated. She said, 


“This is absolutely the most insane amount of donations we have had thus far from individuals, especially in such a short frame of time. . . On a broader scale, this highlights the extreme power of social media mobilization, and it shows Republican politicians that their cheap attacks and political theater will no longer be tolerated.”


So what is next for the teen advocate? 


Julianna has no intentions of slowing down any time soon. She plans to use the attention to reinvigorate the pro-choice movement to help turn out voters at the elections in a few weeks. She will continue fighting for women’s rights in her home state and around the country and has recently launched her campaign called the "100 Days of Hell for the GOP."


She is proud of her state. Her work encourages other GenZ to become politically active and involved in turning around Texas' political infrastructure by mobilizing on social media and in real life. 


“Texas has been and always will be my home. I will do everything I can to make this state a better place. My heart is deep in Texas and I’ll be here till the end.”


Read more about how Olivia Julianna is taking on the GOP here.

Support GenZ for Change here.