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Siri Abortion Clinic Fail: Pro-Choice Lobby Outraged By iPhone Software

Apple Siri Abortion

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/01/11 11:26 AM ET Updated: 12/01/11 11:57 AM ET

Apple's virtual assistant, Siri, provides a plethora of information when it comes to driving directions or locating a favorite store or restaurant. But one thing the voice activated app can't find is a nearby abortion clinic.

Pro-choice blog The Abortioneer first pointed out the issue Tuesday after Siri failed to provide results on birth control, contraceptions and abortions, according to the The New York Times.

Nevertheless, Siri could easily retrieve information on Viagra and escort services, something Salon pointed out as an example of technology failing to acknowledge women's needs.

Angered by the glitch, pro-choice activists took to the website Change.org to start a petition calling for Apple to add more family planning services, including abortion clinics and information on contraception, Computer World reported. By Thursday morning, the petition had racked up 1,416 signatures.

But on the other side of the abortion debate, pro-life organizations welcomed the glitch.

"We applaud Apple iPhone's 4S Siri and are thrilled that Siri does not list or refer to abortion clinics. Numerous lives will be saved as a direct result," Brandi Swindell, founder and president of Stanton Healthcare, a pro-life pregnancy medical center, said in a statement.

So does Apple have a hidden pro-life agenda, or is the failed search the result of a programming bug?

Responding to the controvery, Apple told The New York Times Wednesday it wasn't intentional and that they have no agenda.

"These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told the Times. "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."

This isn't the first time the voice recognition app has faced criticism.

Earlier this month, The Huffington Post Latino Voices reported on Siri's inability to understand non-native English speakers with heavy accents.

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