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Connecting the Dots on Siri and CPCs

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iphone-siri.jpg The Internets are all aflutter with talk about Siri, the personal-assistant application on Apple's iPhone 4S.

Last week, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, communicated with Apple CEO Tim Cook about her concerns that Siri was referring women seeking abortion care to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs).

The Daily Beast took an in-depth look into how Siri--unbeknownst to "her"--assists CPCs in their campaign to mislead and manipulate women:

Online listings for reproductive health services often lead women astray. The Yellow Pages website sometimes directs those seeking abortion services to crisis pregnancy centers, which don't provide abortion services at all but rather are places where women are often subjected to and manipulated by pro-life propaganda. You can be similarly misdirected on, another online directory.

Why does this happen? What the Siri issue has brought to the surface, says Ted Miller of NARAL Pro-Choice America, are the dubious advertising tactics of crisis pregnancy centers, which claim to provide abortion services and purposely list themselves under that category instead of "abortion alternatives." That has helped the pro-life message seep into presumably apolitical resources like Google, and could likely be the reason Siri inadvertently seems pro-life, too.

ABC News also delved deeper into the Siri controversy--and connected the dots about how "her" glitch plays into CPCs' willful deception of women.

And Nancy has a new piece up on The Huffington Post emphasizing how important it is that Apple correct Siri's problem:

NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation will make sure that Apple follows through--and that Siri learns to recognize the difference between a comprehensive, women's health center and an anti-choice CPC.

No one--human or computer, iPhone or Droid--should mislead a woman about her most personal, private medical decisions.

Siri is an amazing tool, but we need to make sure "she's" not the unwitting tool of people who want to trick women into going to CPCs.

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