Meet Vincent Rue, the man behind the pseudoscience of abortion restrictions

Mar 8, 2016

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

By Nicholas J. Little

Vincent Rue is not a medical doctor, but, through surrogates, he has tried to play one in court. And in this role of a lifetime, he has masterminded the dissemination of pseudoscientific testimony in several state court cases —all in an effort to defeat women’s right to an abortion. His act is about to be reviewed by his most important audience yet – the United States Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court will soon hear the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, representing the latest battle in the long-running campaign by the anti-choice movement to cut off women’s access to safe, legal abortion, a right guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. Realizing that neither the court system, nor the majority of Americans, would tolerate an outright ban on abortion, they have instead sought to create an environment in which abortion is technically legal, but obstructed to the point that it is practically unavailable.

The Texas laws at issue claim not to restrict abortion, but instead, in a dizzying twisting of language, are presented as though intended to make abortion safer for women. According to the laws’ supporters, requiring doctors to maintain active admitting procedures at a hospital within 30 miles of where they perform abortions will prevent complications and ensure safety for the woman seeking a termination.

Let’s be perfectly clear: These claims are false. Abortion, especially early-term abortion, is an extremely safe procedure. In fact, women suffer fewer complications from early term abortions than from giving birth. That’s why leading medical groups like the American Medical Association, the College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Family Physicians have said that the onerous restrictions in the law do nothing to improve patient safety. The real-world effect of the law is to require the closing of most abortion providers in Texas, leaving the 5.4 million women of reproductive age without safe, local access to care. But that didn’t stop Texas from putting forward a string of allegedly expert witnesses claiming that these laws were rationally designed to protect women.


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8 comments on “Meet Vincent Rue, the man behind the pseudoscience of abortion restrictions

  • @OP – But that didn’t stop Texas from putting forward a string of allegedly expert witnesses claiming that these laws were rationally designed to protect women.

    This is a natural consequence of electing woo-deluded science illiterates into positions of power!



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  • 2
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    I’m glad that the pro-choice crowd and the liberal media has recently stopped calling those right-wing religious bullies “pro-life”. They are now calling them anti-choice as they well should since those people only seem to care about children for as long as they’re in the womb.

    Once they are born, they couldn’t care less about them having access to affordable health care, education, food and clothing. These are the same people who want to cut social security, food stamps, welfare and education programs because they say those things are “government handouts”.

    They say they are against big government but seem to have no problem with a government that dictates to women what they should and should not do with their bodies. These ignorant, massively hypocritical bullies are anything but pro-life and it’s high time that the mainstream media call them out for who they really are.



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  • As an English man I don’t really have the right to comment on American politics; but when did that ever stop we English from doing anything?

    Circa 1980 the Republican party set out from Reagansville, and now, it looks very much as if they are about to arrive at their destination, Trumptown; it’s been a fairly easy trip, downhill all the way.

    If a return journey is to be embarked upon however, it seems to me, that they’ll need to jettison an awful lot of trash to be able to make it back up the incline to the twenty first century.



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  • 4
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    @stafford-gordon

    If a return journey is to be embarked upon however, it seems to me, that they’ll need to jettison an awful lot of trash to be able to make it back up the incline to the twenty first century.

    I’m afraid it’s a bit more complicated than that. The worst aspect of the Republican party is not its members but its voter base. It has been groomed for decades by the incessant drumming of right-wing propaganda, the fear mongering, the hatred and outrageous lies of the ultra-conservative TV and radio shows: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and religious nuts like Pat Robertson and many others…

    The amount of disinformation and honestly, just plain brainwashing of the ignorant masses has caused tremendous harm to a nation that is already plagued by a dysfunctional, underfunded education system heavily polluted by the nonsense of religious belief.

    The thing that I find the most scary at a Trump rally is not Trump but his supporters and the brutality they casually serve to journalists and protesters. Trump is not creating the anger and bigotry, he’s simply tapping into it and using it for his own purpose.



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  • NNA: When I say Republican Party I intend that to include its supporters; without whom it wouldn’t be able to dysfunction at all.

    There are some pithy passages in the Bible, one of which goes: As you sow so shall you reap.”.

    But even if Trump gets nominated, I doubt he’ll win the Presidency; there are signs that not all republican party politicians are dead from the neck up, in that some are becoming quite alarmed at the prospect of mouth and trousers Trump succeeding.

    Let’s hope DT is only receiving the PV (protest vote)!



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  • @nearlynakedape
    @stafford-gordon

    It has been groomed for decades by the incessant drumming of right-wing propaganda, the fear mongering, the hatred and outrageous lies of the ultra-conservative TV and radio shows: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and religious nuts like Pat Robertson and many others…

    Steven Pinker made the following comment on this issue which I found very informative about how societal views are formed based on the news media.

    Steven Pinker — Journalism is about things that happen, often the unusual and dramatic ones. These events stick in the mind, and because of a feature of our psychology that Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky dubbed “the availability heuristic,” they affect people’s assessment of risk: The easier it is to remember an example of something, the more probable people think it is. So people fear the kinds of threats that make the news — shark attacks, plane crashes, terrorism — when they should fear boring but more likely risks like accidental poisoning, falling off a ladder, and texting while driving

    Pinker’s idea struck me. Of course this is right. It explains so much about what people think is important and what they talk about. It certainly explains how the Republican Party has come to this point, and barricaded itself into far right corner of a darkened room, terrified of the monstrous incoming threats from around the world.

    Donald Trump. Making America Hate Again.

    Full Pinker interview here

    http://undark.org/article/five-questions-for-steven-pinker/



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  • NearlyNakedApe #4
    Mar 11, 2016 at 8:30 am

    The thing that I find the most scary at a Trump rally is not Trump but his supporters and the brutality they casually serve to journalists and protesters. Trump is not creating the anger and bigotry, he’s simply tapping into it and using it for his own purpose.

    There is an evaluation of the potential of a Trump presidency here:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35828747

    Trump presidency rated among top 10 global risks: EIU

    .Donald Trump winning the US presidency is considered one of the top 10 risks facing the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

    The research firm warns he could disrupt the global economy and heighten political and security risks in the US.

    However, it does not expect Mr Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton who it sees as “his most likely Democratic contender”.

    He is rated as riskier than Britain leaving the European Union or an armed clash in the South China Sea.



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