Matt Gaetz says "women who look like a thumb" shouldn't complain about abortion rights

“The people are just disgusting," Gaetz said on abortion rights activists during Saturday's Turning Point Summit

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published July 24, 2022 9:11AM (EDT)

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) gave a speech during Saturday's Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, Florida in which he said women who "look like a thumb" shouldn't concern themselves with losing abortion rights. 

The summit, which Salon covered on Friday when Ted Cruz gave a speech saying his pronoun is "kiss my ass," is intended to offer leadership training to students by grouping them with political leaders such as Cruz, Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

"Have you watched these pro-abortion, pro-murder rallies?" Gaetz asked attendees of the Summit. "The people are just disgusting. 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. These people are odious from the inside out," Gaetz continued in his speech. "They're like 5′2,″ 350 pounds, and they're like, 'Give me my abortions or I'll get up and march and protest.' "I'm thinking, march? You look like you've got ankles weaker than the legal reasoning behind Roe V. Wade,"  Gaetz continued: "They need to get up and march for like an hour a day, swing those arms, get the blood pumping, maybe mix in a salad."


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 "OK, I'm not going to say every Republican is like Matt Gaetz," Tom Malinowski, a Congressman representing New Jersey's 7th district said on Twitter in a share of footage of Gaetz's speech. ". . . Though there will be more like him in the next Congress. But look at how the audience reacts to this brain-dead misogyny, at a conference meant to showcase the youthful future of the GOP."

This isn't the first time Gaetz has brought up looks and lifestyle in relation to being deserving of human rights. In May, the Florida congressman Tweeted "How many of the women rallying against overturning Roe are over-educated, under-loved millennials who sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats, and no bumble matches?"


By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends editor, and her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere

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Matt Gaetz Roe V. Wade