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Ransomware Attack on Planned Parenthood L.A. Robs Personal Data of 400,000 Patients Amid Grim Times for Reproductive Rights Supporters

On an already aggravating afternoon for supporters of U.S. reproductive rights and the right to choose–with the Supreme Court trotting out another step in Roe Vs. Wade’s presumed march to the gallows—local supporters of women’s health were dealt an extra blow by the news that Planned Parenthood L.A. had undergone a massive hack leading to a breach of roughly 400,000 people’s personal data.

The breach was said to be a ransomware attack conducted from October 9 to 17 that may have exposed the names and addresses of patients and members, as well as medical and insurance info, and possibly even prescriptions, diagnoses, and the procedures they’ve undergone.

The potential for harm to come to these individuals in Planned Parenthood L.A.’s database sent a chill down the spine of anybody who remembers one of the "17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, and 186 arsons" that targeted health clinics that provide procedures to terminate unwanted pregnancies from 1977-2015.

This is where we arbitrarily remind you that Planned Parenthood clinics provide a wide variety of reproductive care-related and educational services, with abortions variously estimated to make up only 3-10% of their performed procedures.

In a letter to those affected from Planned Parenthood LA Compliance Officer Ken Oliver, it's stated that “we have no evidence that any information involved in this incident has been used for fraudulent purposes,” while recommending victims review their insurance and health care provider statements closely to look for unwanted charges.

Although an exact motive for the attack is yet to be disclosed, with KTLA reporting that the breach continues to be investigated by the organization, some initial signs point to the intention being more financial than politically executed by extremist “Pro-Life” terrorists.

Installing such malware suggests the hacker may have been trying to lock the organization out of its own systems in return for money, much like the April ransomware hack at USC that came with a demand for $40 million. Not to be outdone, UCLA Health was hit by a 2015 hack of the data of over 4 million patients, amid an admitted flurry involving "millions" of annual hack attempts.

Nonetheless, the constant attacks on reproductive rights in our county, no less in the last few grim months under a conservative-dominated Supreme Court, ups the frightening ante of this particular cybercrime, bolstering an ugly feeling of U.S. progressives and Pro-Choice advocates taking another L.

Still, our spirits remain somewhat buoyed at this point by outspoken supporters of women’s rights and access to safe healthcare, who won't go down without swinging.

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