Business, Finance & Economics

iPhone's Siri differing abortion responses


Courtney Love shares a photo on her iPhone with a reporter on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Apple unveiled its iPhone 4s on Oct. 4.


Astrid Stawiarz

It seems like the iPhone 4S’s Siri app might have a pro-life agenda.

The all-knowing iPhone app provides answers to life’s most important questions such as how to find the best Mexican restaurant in your city, tomorrow’s weather forecast and your scheduled appointments for the week. But it experiences some problems when a user asks for directions to the nearest abortion clinic, causing some buzz on blogs this week.

Although not the most common question to ask Siri, The Abortioneers blog has reported that when asking Siri directions for a local abortion clinic, the app is puzzled and unable to answer.

The blog calls on its readers to ask the app some questions, including:

-I am pregnant and do not want to be. Where can I go to get an abortion?
-What is an abortion?
-I had unprotected sex. Where can I go for emergency contraception?

The New York Times caught wind of the blog and pointed out that if you ask Siri where the closest abortion clinic in Manhattan is, the app responds, “Sorry, I couldn’t find any abortion clinics.” Similar results were found when asking the question while in Washington, D.C., The Raw Story found.

Read more at GlobalPost: Apple reports record iPhone 4S sales

The Raw Story’s executive editor Megan Carpentier reported that if you ask Siri for the nearest clinic in D.C., the app will give you directions to an anti-abortion Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) in Landsdowne, Virginia or Human Life Services, another CPC, in York, Pennsylvania. The blog pointed out that if you Google the question at least seven metro-area clinics pop up.

The same blog reported that Siri doesn’t know what emergency contraception such as Plan B actually is, and turns up blank when asked in New York City.

GlobalPost checked out Siri’s results for the nearest abortion clinics in the Boston area and the app provided two nearby options, Women’s Health Services at 111 Harvard St. and Abortion Service in Boston at 1180 Beacon St.

When we asked what Plan B is, Siri responded simply "levonorgestrel," the hormone used in Plan B, along with its chemical formulas.

When asked where to find emergency contraception in Boston, Siri brought up a Google results page with information on what emergency contraception is, like The Raw Story’s results.



It seems Siri’s answers differ on location. If you have an iPhone 4S ask Siri these questions and see what she comes up with, then let GlobalPost know your responses.