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Brennan Linsley / AP

Pro-choice organizations and abortion clinics are seeing a new trend in the long-running political battle over abortion — cyberattacks on their websites, apparently from pro-life activists, Wired reported earlier this week.

Why it matters: Roe v. Wade may have been decided almost a half century ago, but the anti-abortion movement is becoming increasingly aggressive — both in legislatures around the country, and online. Pro-life organizations are used to dealing with protests. Now they're having to invest in cyber security.

  • Whole Women's Health: In 2013, shortly after Whole Woman's Health VP Fatimah Gifford testified in front of Texas' Health and Human Services committee, the organization saw a surge in cyber hacking attempts to their website. The hacks eventually cut off access to the website for workers for a week. A month later, hackers were able to shut down the website for an entire month, by hacking through Whole Women's Health's blog. In April, 2014, the organization participated in a lawsuit initiated by the Center for Reproductive Rights. Every time Whole Women's Health CEO Hagstrom Miller went on TV to talk about the case, Whole Woman's Health again saw a surge in hacks — one of which led to customers being rerouted to a pornographic page.
  • Planned Parenthood: In 2015, after the Center for Medical Progress released their secret footage claiming Planned Parenthood employees were talking about selling fetal tissue, Planned Parenthood's website was hacked along with the National Network of Abortion Funds and Abortion Care Network.
  • Preferred Women's Health Center: The organization which oversees four abortion clinics in North Carolina and Georgia recently had its internet and phones shut down due to a cyber attack. Its website has also been shut down on multiple occasions, APWHC administrator Calla Hales told Wired.

Go deeper with the full Wired piece.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.