US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Another case for Steve Jobs' sainthood: The pro-life iPhone

By Scott Alessi | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Ever since the death of iconic Apple founder Steve Jobs in early October, tributes to his life and legacy have nearly elevated him to the status of sainthood. Some have even debated the merits of Jobs' secular canonization, while others taken the time to compare him to the real saints of the church.

Those in the pro-Jobs camp now have another "miracle" to attribute to him: the latest iPhone's much talked about "Siri" feature may be pro-life.

Hitting stores just after Jobs' death, the iPhone 4S introduced Siri to the world, a voice activated assistant who can answer any question you may have. Any question, that is, with one glaring exception: where can you obtain an abortion?

Reports have been popping up on the web of frustrated iPhone users discovering that Siri won't give them a straight answer on questions about abortion or contaception. It will direct you to other medical services, and will even answer questions about buying illegal drugs or finding prostitution. But Siri draws the line at abortion, either saying that there are no clinics nearby, pointing to one a long distance away, or even suggesting pro-life crisis pregnancy centers instead.

Is this just a glitch, or did Apple really intend for its product to be pro-life? Is this the work of the late Jobs, who some considered to be pro-life because of his own mother's story of choosing adoption over abortion? Thus far Apple isn't saying, so I guess we'll never really know the answer for certain. Even if Apple fixes the "glitch" in an update to Siri, Jobs won't be around to offer his input on that decision.

But for those who want to view the legacy of the late Apple icon through rose colored glasses, "pro-life Siri" will likely be one more addition to his sainthood cause.

UPDATE: A representative from Apple has now told the New York Times that the inability of Siri to find abortion clinics "are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone." Interesting that they say it wasn't meant to offend anyone, not that it wasn't meant to be a sign of solidarity with the pro-life cause. Let the speculation continue...