(The Hill) – Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is facing backlash after questioning how many “over-educated, under-loved” women have participated in protests supporting abortion rights after a draft ruling from the Supreme Court showed that the bench is poised to roll back Roe v. Wade.
“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?” Gaetz wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.
The tweet came two days after Politico published a draft majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, that said the rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey “must be overturned.” The Supreme Court said the leaked draft ruling is “authentic,” but stressed that it does not reflect the final decision from the bench.
Protesters, however, have since taken to the streets to speak out against the draft opinion or express support for overturning the near 50-year precedent.
Gaetz is now drawing scrutiny for his tweet about some protesters.
Bill Kristol, the editor-at-large of The Bulwark, wrote on Twitter Tuesday that Gaetz’s comment illustrated “witless and vulgar misogyny.”
Jessica Valenti, who dubs herself a “feminist author” on Twitter, quoted Gaetz’s mention of “over-educated” women before writing, “If you think this kind of language is just a gaffe, you’re wrong.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) used his response to Gaetz’s tweet as a way to galvanize voters ahead of the November midterm elections.
“Republicans like Matt Gaetz are for government-mandated pregnancy, against education, and against cats. You can help on campaigns to decide whether or not he is in the majority this November (assuming he isn’t indicted by the DOJ who is investigating him for sex crimes),” the congressman wrote on Twitter.
A number of tweets criticizing the congressman referenced the sex trafficking investigation that is examining the 39-year-old congressman. Investigators are probing to see if Gaetz paid for sex, engaged in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and if he paid women to cross over state lines to have sex with him, according to The Washington Post.
The congressman has denied the allegations, contending that he has not paid for sex nor had sex with a minor while he was an adult, the Post noted. The investigation into Gaetz stemmed from a federal probe into former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, who in June pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor, among other federal crimes.
“How many of the Republican politicians trying to control women and restrict their fundamental rights are currently under criminal investigation for sex crimes?” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) wrote on Twitter.
Meena Harris, the niece of Vice President Harris and the founder of Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, sounded a similar note, writing on Twitter “How many of the right wing members of Congress rallying against Roe are under investigation for sex trafficking a minor? Just you?”
Jemele Hill, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, wrote on Twitter “How many Florida politicians are out here using a tax collector as a personal pimp to procure sex with a 17 year old girl because they’re a predator and gross?”
“Hypothetically speaking, of course,” she added.
The Hill reached out to Gaetz for comment.