A group of anti-abortion hackers claimed to have breached Planned Parenthood's database aiming to release personally identifying employee information, Rolling Stone reported in a July 31 article. Professor David S. Cohen, co-author of Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism told Rolling Stone that the hackers' attempt was no less than "an act of domestic terrorism."
"When I heard about the supposed hack, my mind went directly to the fact that this is a way to scare people who work at Planned Parenthood. Putting their information — email, names or other information — out there is not meant to encourage people to send them kind emails saying 'thank you,'" Cohen said.
Cohen said that disclosing personally identifiable information, regardless of the method, has always been a tactic of anti-abortion terrorists. "Make no mistake: Abortion providers keep their personal information private because of the history of murder, bombings, arsons, stalking, assaults and other forms of attacks on abortion providers. This is a real threat that the hacker has knowingly exacerbated."
The hack comes in the midst of Planned Parenthood's response to the Center for Medical Progress' (CMP) release of spliced "undercover" videos showing Planned Parenthood employees discussing a fetal tissue donation program. As discussed in a July 29 article on RH Reality Check, Professor Cohen along with 35 other law school professors wrote a letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris asking her to conduct an investigation into CMP's actions "with the utmost immediacy" as "CMP's ongoing campaign poses a real threat to abortion provider safety."
Cohen and the accompanying law professors claim that CMP has violated California law with respect to recording private communications without the consent of all parties.