Ask Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant for the iPhone, for ideas on where to eat dinner or whether you need an umbrella, and it will deliver helpful localized suggestions.
But try asking it to find a local abortion clinic, and the software turns up a puzzling blank — even in areas that clearly have such clinics. The response in Manhattan is: “Sorry, I couldn’t find any abortion clinics.”
This is, of course, not a question that most people are likely to be asking their phones. But the odd results began to attract attention around the Web on Tuesday, with some suspecting a conspiracy.“I can’t help but feel that something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” said one blogger at a site called The Abortioneers.
Megan Carpentier, the executive editor at a blog called The Raw Story, noted that Siri users in the Washington area are directed toward antiabortion pregnancy centers in Virginia and Pennsylvania — not the nearby Planned Parenthood. Asking Google the same question turned up ads for seven abortion clinics, two pregnancy centers and an abortion referral service.
Apple did not immediately respond to a question about the results.