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Houston teen turns body-shaming tweet by Florida Republican into $2.2M fundraiser for abortion rights

"Unfortunately for Matt Gaetz, we've been turning that hatred into healthcare & it will help a lot of people because he couldn't keep his mouth shut," Julianna said.

HOUSTON — A Houston area 19-year-old is in the national spotlight after she stood up to a Republican congressman from Florida who body-shamed her on Twitter last week.

Olivia Julianna didn't isn't backing down in a Twitter war with Rep. Matt Gaetz. Instead, she helped raise millions of dollars for women's reproductive rights funds.

And the Gen Z for Change activist is only getting started.

"This last week has been the most insane and life-changing of my life," Julianna told KHOU 11.

RELATED: Don't mess with this Texas teen: Houston activist body-shamed by Rep. Matt Gaetz raises $1.6 million for abortion access

She said after Gaetz's vile remarks last week, Julianna knew she had to say something.

"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.

Julianna turned to Twitter to respond.

"I tweeted about it -- in a now infamous tweet -- saying 'I wear heels so that men like Matt Gaetz are reminded of their place,'" Julianna said.

She also called Gaetz a "pedolphile" in reference to an investigation into possible sex trafficking of underage girls.

The tweet caught Gaetz's attention. He took aim at Julianna -- tweeting out her photo to his 1.4 million followers along with a link to a story about his speech calling abortion activists overweight and unattractive.

"His attempt to tear me down has not fazed me one bit," Julianna said.

Instead, the young activist turned Gaetz's insults into a fundraiser, calling on folks to donate to abortion funds.


"I expected to raise a few thousand dollars, a few thousand turned into $50 (thousand), $50 (thousand) turned into $100 (thousand) and now here we are at $2.2 million raised," Julianna said.

$2.2 million dollars in a week -- that's more than three times what some national abortion groups raise in an entire year.

"Unfortunately for Matt Gaetz, we've been turning that hatred into healthcare and it will help a lot of people because he couldn't keep his mouth shut," Julianna said.

The money will be split among 50 abortion rights funds that provide women access to abortion, birth control and other reproductive healthcare.

Her efforts have turned her into an overnight star. 

"We are fighting for the soul of Texas, together," Juliana tweeted along with a photo of her and Beto O'Rourke at a rally Sunday.

She received a standing ovation and plenty of selfie requests from men and women alike, including O'Rourke and Mayor Sylvester Turner. 

Juliana has now set her sights on the upcoming election vowing to "100 days of hell planned for the Texas GOP," and Gov. Greg Abbott is one of her favorite targets.

She's captured the attention of women nationally and around the world.

"Matt Gaetz just learned a very important lesson and that's not to mess with Texas women," Julianna said.

She plans to use that attention and reinvigorated burst of energy of the pro-choice movement to help turn out voters in just a few weeks.

"Texas deserves fighters, so I'm going to keep fighting for the state," Julianna said.

Her recognition continued on Tuesday morning when she was honored at Harris County Commissioner's Court.

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