Planned Parenthood Officials Say Website Was Hacked by Anti-Abortion Extremists
Planned Parenthood’s website went down Wednesday afternoon in what the nonprofit health services organization called “an attack by extremists.”
The hack comes in the wake of the publication of several undercover videos by anti-abortion activists seemingly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue and organs for medical research. Selling fetal organs for a profit is a felony, but the footage is highly edited and it is not clear that is what the officials are discussing.
It also comes a day after a judge on Wednesday barred the same anti-abortion group from releasing any covert footage of top officials at a California-based company involved in fetal tissue research.
The website was downed using a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, a tactic used by hackers to flood a site with traffic and keep users from accessing the site, said Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president, in a statement issued Wednesday evening.
“This is a new low for anti-abortion extremists; 200,000 people a day count on Planned Parenthood’s website for accurate health information,” Laguens said. “Blocking people from accessing information on the full range of sexual and reproductive health — including birth control, sexually transmitted infections, healthy relationships, parenting and preventive care — only shows how far opponents of safe and legal abortion will go.”
No one has claimed responsibility for the hack so far, and CNN could not independently verify Planned Parenthood’s claim.
Users trying to access the site are currently met with a temporary page noting that “our site is not available due to a hack by extremists.”
The group suggests users use Google Maps to locate their nearest Planned Parenthood health center and gives the organization’s phone number to book an appointment.
Laguens said the group is “taking every measure possible to mitigate any criminal efforts to undermine our mission and services.”