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Texas GOP Website Hacked By Activists Protesting Abortion Law

The activist hacking group Anonymous took over the website of the Texas Republican Party Saturday.

For several hours the website carried an Anonymous banner across the top of the page, a Rick Astley music video, a lewd photo, and a statement saying the party is committed to taking away women's rights.

"Texas: Taking voices from women to promote theocratic erosion of church/state barriers," read the Internet Archive of the site.

Anonymous says the hack was a response to the state’s recently passed anti-abortion bill, which is the most restrictive in the country.

Senate Bill 8 — often called the "heartbeat bill" by supporters — effectively bans abortions after six weeks, well before many people even know they are pregnant. Physicians who specialize in reproductive health say the term “fetal heartbeat” used in the legislation is misleading because there is no cardiovascular system or a functional heart six weeks into pregnancy.

The law does not have exceptions for victims of rape or to protect the health of the mother.

It allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone else who helps a woman obtain an abortion after the six week threshold.

The Texas GOP website now redirects to a donation page for the party.

“We have been able to secure our website, but make no mistake, threats and attacks like this only strengthen our resolve,” said the redirected page, asking for donations to protect it from future attacks.

After the abortion law went into effect on September 1, Anonymous launched “Operation Jane” to target web sites set up to identify people assisting those seeking an abortion after six weeks.

ProLifeWhistleblower.com was dropped by GoDaddy, it’s hosting provider.

“We will not be silenced. If anti-Lifers want to take our website down, we’ll put it back up. No one can keep us from telling the truth. No one can stop us from saving lives,” said Kimberlyn Schwartz, Texas Right to Life Director of Communications.

The site was hosted by another provider briefly, but now redirects to Texas Right To Life and has no whistleblower form. The site had been inundated with false leads from across the country, an act that was encouraged by — among others — Anonymous.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org