Planned Parenthood proclaimed on Thursday that its websites were "not available because of an extremist attack," but seemed to change its story throughout the day after many people pointed to inconsistencies about the alleged hack.
At around noon, the message on the group's homepage was changed to read that "our normal site is currently undergoing maintenance."
At the start of the day, Planned Parenthood claimed it was the victim of a cyberattack. "200,000 people a day are now being blocked from information and care by the attack," the first iteration on the PlannedParenthood.org site said. But many noted on Twitter that it didn't look like a regular attack, as the homepage still seemed to be controlled by the group, and included links to parts of the group's website.
Viewed Thursday morning, the source code for the page indicated it was a page put up in response to a cyberattack, and the site asked users to donate to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political action fundraising wing of the abortion giant.
A fully-functional redirect button asked visitors to "share your story" on why you "stand with Planned Parenthood" and sent users to a secure, working page that collected users' names, email addresses, and phone numbers for Planned Parenthood's political action committee. The URL resided at ppaction.org and showed no signs of hacking.
While the website wasn't specific on the timing of the alleged hack, a spokeswoman for the group said control of the site was quickly regained after the attack, which allowed the group to put up minimal messages while an attempt was made to boost website security.
"The website is under our control now but it is down until we can restore the site and put safeguards in place," she said.
But other parts of the story seemed to change as well. The group's Facebook site said "anti-abortion extremists briefly blocked any traffic" from going to plannedparenthood.org. But on the donations page, it was explained that hackers "brought [the site] down."
Later Thursday, the original message was taken down and replaced with a note that made no mention of the hack at all. "Our normal site is currently undergoing maintenance," it said. "Below you will find information to help you find a Planned Parenthood health center, book an appointment, and get involved with Planned Parenthood." Instead of redirecting users to another page on the site, the button now provides a phone number for donations.
As of Thursday afternoon, Planned Parenthood had not removed its Facebook post on the hack which says that "today, anti-abortion extremist hackers brought down plannedparenthood.org."
The alleged hack comes in the wake of several undercover videos that reveal high-level Planned Parenthood executives trafficking fetal organs and just days after Planned Parenthood hired crisis PR firm SKDKnickerbocker.
This story was updated at 3:53 p.m.