(LifeSiteNews) — The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), a national non-profit organization that opposes transgender ideology and abortion, said last week it has been subjected to “an ongoing, coordinated, malicious cyberattack” meant “to intimidate and incapacitate.” The attack began just weeks after a federal judge agreed to halt the FDA approval of the abortion drug mifepristone following a lawsuit by ACPeds and other pro-life doctors and groups.
“Since April 24, the American College of Pediatricians has been facing an ongoing, coordinated, malicious cyberattack by hackers on our key technology structures, databases, and our financial accounts,” said ACPeds executive director Dr. Jill Simons, a board-certified pediatrician, in a May 5 statement.
“This attack was intended to intimidate and incapacitate, and it will be costly to recover, but we will not be intimidated by these illegal bullying tactics that amount to a hate crime,” she continued.
“We will continue to promote the health and well-being of children by protecting the rights of born and preborn children, promoting biological integrity, and defending conscience rights for healthcare professionals,” Dr. Simons said.
READ: Pro-life doctors file lawsuit to take ‘dangerous’ abortion pills off the market
Founded in 2002 in response to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) increasing adoption of left-wing social positions, ACPeds actively opposes prominent harmful leftist ideologies including transgenderism and abortion.
According to ACPeds, “there are absolutes and scientific truths that transcend relative social considerations of the day,” and “good medical science cannot exist in a moral vacuum.” The group is committed to defending the “sanctity of human life from conception to natural death,” supporting sexual abstinence for adolescents, and promoting “the basic father-mother family unit as the optimal setting for childhood development.”
In 2021, ACPeds President Dr. Quentin Van Meter told LifeSiteNews the prescription of puberty blockers for gender-confused children was tantamount to “child abuse.”
ACPeds’ conservative stance has put it in the crosshairs of its ideological opponents, even earning it a “hate group” label from the radical Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) which says the group “opposes adoption by LGBTQ couples, links homosexuality to pedophilia, endorses so-called reparative or sexual orientation conversion therapy for homosexual youth, believes transgender people have a mental illness and has called transgender health care for youth child abuse.”
The latest attack, however, didn’t come from the SPLC but from hackers, who accessed a trove of confidential files after breaching an archived webpage.
The Daily Signal recounted that ACPeds “came under several targeted attacks April 24 when hackers attempted to access its website servers, email accounts, and social media accounts.”
While the small organization’s “cybersecurity measures repelled most of” those attempts, hackers were able to gain access to “an archived website” which had been “unused since 2019.”
Documents obtained by the hackers were then posted on the ACPeds website via a Google Drive link, according to left-wing tech outlet WIRED, which reported on the attack while taking shots at ACPeds for its allegedly “deeply unpopular agenda” of “returning America to a time when the laws and social mores around family squared neatly with evangelical Christian beliefs.”
According to WIRED, which viewed the leaked documents before they were taken down by ACPeds, the attack reportedly exposed almost 10,000 files containing “highly sensitive internal information about the College’s donors and taxes, social security numbers of board members, staff resignation letters, budgetary and fundraising concerns, and the usernames and passwords of more than 100 online accounts.”
The report added that documents exposed in the attack included “Powerpoint presentations, Quickbooks accounting documents, and at least 388 spreadsheets.” One of those spreadsheets was “an export of an internal database containing information on 1,200 past and current members” which contained “intimate personal information about each member,” such as their contact information and educational background.
During a podcast interview with The Daily Signal, Dr. Simons said there’s “no doubt” that the breach was in response to her group’s work to halt the nationwide distribution of the abortion drug mifepristone.
The hack-and-leak attack came just weeks after Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled in favor of a coalition of pro-life doctors and medical groups (including ACPeds) that filed a lawsuit calling for the rollback of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s approval of mifepristone.
READ: Texas judge orders suspension of abortion pill, Washington judge responds with conflicting ruling
Kacsmaryk’s ruling would have suspended distribution of the abortion drug nationwide, but it was immediately met with a counter-ruling from a judge in Washington state who ordered the drugs remain available in multiple states. Days later, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay filed by the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting that the drugs remain temporarily available pending ongoing litigation, but upholding the pause on distribution of the pills via mail.
On April 21, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 7-2 ruling preserving access to mifepristone while a lawsuit against the drug continues to work its way through the federal court system. Even with the setback from the nation’s highest court, pro-lifers have emphasized that the battle to protect pre-born babies from chemical as well as surgical abortions is far from over.