In a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine
, Democratic National Committee chair and South Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz made some comments that ignited a Twitter firestorm Wednesday.
When a reporter asked her if she saw a generational divide between younger women and women of her age in terms of their excitement over Hillary Clinton, Wasserman Schultz said, "Here's what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided."
Women on Twitter responded with a WTF, and #DearDebbie was started by reproductive justice activist Erin Matson to talk about young people's involvement on abortion rights, according to Vox
. Last year, Matson wrote about how young people are actually leading the abortion movement for RH Reality Check
"They may not be carrying coat hangers and using phone trees to connect with women they met at a consciousness-raising session in somebody’s dorm room, the primary methods some advocates might recognize as activism, but these reproductive rights supporters are here and they are effective," she writes. "Young people are active, and they are saying the 'abortion' word proudly. But they are also situating abortion access within a broader context, drawing on decades-long work led by women of color in developing an intersectional conception of reproductive justice that champions the right to abortion, the right to healthy pregnancy, and the right to raise children in safe communities."
You can follow the Twitter thread here
Wasserman Schultz released a statement later on Wednesday about the interview.
"We need women of every generation – mine included – to stand up and speak out, and that is the main message I sought to convey in that interview," she says. "For many in my generation who lived the majority of our lives with the right to make our own health care choices, there wasn’t a sense of urgency after Roe v. Wade settled our right to a safe and legal abortion. Since then, opponents worked aggressively to chip away at women’s reproductive freedom and they have awakened a sleeping giant in the millennials leading the fight in defense of the progress we’ve made.
"As a mother raising two millennial daughters, I have instilled in them the need to fight for the rights that generations before theirs have fought so hard to win and protect. My goal for the entire Democratic family for 2016 is to see more people get involved in the same way, and to ensure no one is complacent with so much at stake. And remaining vigilant is not only important in our fight to protect and advance women’s equality, it is essential to defend our victories on marriage equality, protections for DREAMers, health care access and even President Obama’s unprecedented job growth.
"There are 10 months and 2 days between now and Election Day, and I’ll continue to encourage everyone who shares our Party’s values to roll up their sleeves and stand up every single day to the extreme and out-of-touch Republican candidates who want to drag America backwards.”