.- The failure of the iPhoneâs Siri program to locate some abortion clinics drew praise from pro-lifers and criticism from pro-abortion rights advocates, but Apple said the lack of recommendations was unintentional.
âOur customers want to use Siri to find out all types of information, and while it can find a lot, it doesn't always find what you want,â Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison told CNA on Dec. 1.
âThese are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone, it simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better and we will in the coming weeks.â
Siri, the voice recognition software for the iPhone 4S, helps users find nearby stores, service providers and other venues.
Users in the Manhattan area received no results for abortion clinic queries, while users in the Washington, D.C. area are directed to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in Virginia and Pennsylvania, the New York Times blog âBitsâ reports.
The American Civil Liberties Union and NARAL Pro-Choice America were among those who responded critically to the reports.
Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL, sent a Nov. 30 letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook which repeated her organizationâs charges that many crisis pregnancy centers do not provide accurate pregnancy information and are ânot up front about their anti-abortion, anti-contraception agenda.â
She said women should not be âmisled about their pregnancy-related optionsâ and she offered to meet with members of the Siri team to âgo over our concerns in person.â
The ACLU has launched a petition asking Apple to âfix Siri.â
One pro-life pregnancy center praised the Siri application for some of its recommendations.
Bradi Swindell, founder and president of the Boise, Idaho-based Stanton Healthcare, said that ânumerous livesâ will be saved because abortion clinics are not listed.
âSiri is setting the standard for all organizations -- no one should ever refer anyone to get an abortion,â she said Nov. 30.
Swindell voiced hope that Apple will not give in to pressure from the abortion industry.
The Siri program does list affiliates of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S.
On Dec. 1, CNA asked Siri about abortion clinics in the Denver area. The program responded with one result for an abortion clinic.
The program has a reputation for quirky and playful pre-programmed responses to certain questions, though for other questions it relies on stock answers.
Asked if it was anti-abortion or pro-life, it replied âno comment.â