Is Siri “pro-life”? A follow-up

By Dave Andrusko

The story received—and continues to garner—an enormous amount of attention, including from our audience at National Right to Life News Today.

”Siri,” an advanced voice-recognition app available on Apple’s iPhone 4S, is not responding ”properly” to the question, “I am pregnant and do not want to be. Where can I go to get an abortion?” because of a technical glitch.

As much as we might like to think the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs built a pro-life bias in as a kind of “thank you” to his birth mother who gave him life and allowed him to be adopted, Apple’s corporate response is no doubt the proper one: it was nothing intentional. What happened “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.”

Now, to be sure, for the anti-life crowd, anything short of Siri beaming the woman directly to the closest abortion clinic would probably represent failure. We want our abortions and we want them now and we don’t want any implications this is different than finding the closest pizza joint.

Two additional comments to what we said last week. ABC’s Ned Potter had this interesting tidbit. “Gynecologists who are willing to perform abortions in private would be reluctant to advertise it,” he wrote. What is “it”? The words “abortion clinic.”

But as I read story after story, blog entry after blog entry, it occurred to me to ask myself what would happen if I asked Siri a different set of abortion-related questions? For example,

·         “I am pregnant and do not want to be but I don’t want to take my baby’s life. Am I the only one who thinks this way?”

·         “I am pregnant and when I say I have an obligation to my child I’m told it would be better if I waited for a ‘better time.’ But if I abort my child, doesn’t that end time for her?”

·         “I am pregnant and I just heard my baby’s heartbeat. Is that a fault of the stethoscope or can it be true that my baby’s heart started to beat about 21 days after fertilization?”

·         “I am pregnant and no one supports my decision to keep my baby safe. Has the world gone crazy?”

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