Apple’s Siri overcompensates for previous abortion ignorance

Remember last week when the world discovered that Apple’s Siri is suspiciously clueless about reproductive health?

It all started with a post at the Abortioneers by someone describing lots of weird, vague, and surprisingly unhelpful answers to some pretty basic questions about repro health, and abortion specifically. In a particularly egregious one, when told, “I’m pregnant and I don’t want to be” Siri reported, “I don’t see any abortion clinics” in an area known to have several.

Then Jill Filipovic wrote a devastating follow up piece calling Siri a “total misogynist” and outlined some additional repro health-related blindspots.

Well, good news for all you abortion-seeking iPhone owners! The responsive folks over at Apple have fixed the problem. In fact, they may have gone a bit too far. Nonetheless, I’m glad to report that Siri is now trying way too hard to help people get abortions. Check it out:


These are parodies of course, but I think it’s the best (and funniest) kind of wishful thinking there is. More hilarity after the jump.


via Robin Marty for RHRealityCheck.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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  • Brüno

    I am pretty sure Siri does not see legal brothels either. Can you blame the company for not wanting to get involved in a controversial field? But yeah, the app should be sincere and say it does not contain abortion clinics in its database, instead of giving the impression that it does, but that it can not see any nearby.

    • daniel

      The issue was more that it was swinging too far in the other direction and pointing people to CPC’s, which are anti-choice.

      • Meh

        “it was swinging too far in the other direction and pointing people to CPC’s, which are anti-choice.”

        It’s not “swinging” in any particular political direction, it’s using a series of datastores that conservatives have attempted to place their results higher for queries like “abortion”. If Siri is showing unpleasant results, the other services are also showing the same unpleasant results.

        That said, I don’t find this article particularly amusing either.

    • Emmett J Doyle

      Eh, buying pot isn’t controversial enough to avoid; abortion shouldn’t be.

    • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

      Given that in the US brothels are not legal but abortion clinics are, that analogy is incredibly faulty. The irony of their sin of omission is that by leaving out the information, they took a default anti-choice stand and instead of avoiding controversy stepped right into it.

    • trichmous

      Brüno, Siri actually DOES see escort services. There’s an example conversation in the Feministe article (

      Jill: I want a blowjob.
      Siri: I found twelve escort services fairly close to you.

      Jill: I want cunnilingus.
      Siri: Is that so?

      So Siri DOES see prostitution services – if asked for sex favors for men, anyway.

      Also, there’s some reports that Siri can give tips on where to score pot, and engage in other illegal activities – so it’s not just that Siri can see legal prostitution but not legal abortion clinics, but also that Siri can give tips on illegal activities but can’t help women get a perfectly legal abortion.

  • Mika

    This isn’t funny at all. Mocking feminist critique is an old tried-and-true method of blowing off the serious issues that we raise. Maybe it would have been good satire if it came out *after* Apple addressed the problem. Now it just sounds like the same old patronizing “poor widdle feminists, look what they’re complaining about now” bull.

  • Stephanie Sasso

    I actually think it’s quite dangerous for technology that is meant to provide information to be biased in any way in the provision of that information. What if the library decided not to carry books on certain subjects? Technology is becoming our main source of information. I find it scary that the companies that make such products have so much power over what people can and cannot find out.