Vincent Rue

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Vincent Montgomery Rue
Nationality American
Fields Psychology, psychotherapy
Alma mater University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Thesis An examination of selected attitudes and opinions of federal-level bureaucrats on the development of national family policy and programming (1975)
Known for Advocating for a link between abortion and mental health problems
Spouse Susan Stanford-Rue[1]

Vincent Montgomery Rue is an American psychotherapist and pro-life advocate, as well as the founder and co-director (along with his wife, Susan Stanford-Rue, who is also a psychotherapist) of the now-inactive[2] "Institute for Pregnancy Loss". He has claimed to have treated many women who have had what he says are "painful" abortion experiences, and who have wished that they had received more information before they had their abortion.[3]

Abortion and mental health[edit]

He is known for being one of the first to propose a link between abortion and mental health problems, which he dubbed "post-abortion syndrome" when testifying before Congress in the early 1980s.[4][5] However, "post-abortion syndrome" is not recognized by as a real condition by either the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association.[6] In 1987, Rue presented a then-unpublished paper—entitled "The Psychological Aftermath of Abortion: A White Paper"—to the then-surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, who rejected it.[3] In the paper, the authors argued that abortion increased the risk of mental-health problems, but nevertheless acknowledged that "the psychological risks of abortion are based mainly upon studies which have used small, uncontrolled and non-representative samples" and which therefore "cannot be predictive of national estimates".[7] Since the 1980s, Rue has, along with fellow pro-life activists Priscilla K. Coleman and David Reardon, published a number of studies claiming to find that abortion increases women's risk of mental health problems, such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder,[8] though critics have argued that these studies are "essentially meaningless" because they only establish correlation, which does not necessarily prove a causal relationship.[9] In addition, critics have stated that a study published by Rue et al. in the Journal of Psychiatric Research in 2009[10] included all mental health problems with which women were diagnosed over their entire lifetimes, thus negating their argument that these disorders were shown to have been caused by women having abortions.[11]


In 1992, Rue's testimony in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case was thrown out by a district judge, who concluded that it was "not credible."[12] In 2014, Rue was criticized for his involvement in recruiting witnesses for anti-abortion legislation by Alabama judge Myron Herbert Thompson.[13]


  1. ^ "Susan Stanford-Rue". The Nurturing Network Website. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Chamberlain, Pam (Summer 2006). "Politicized Science: How Anti-Abortion Myths Feed the Christian Right Agenda". Public Eye Magazine. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Cowen, Dick (1 August 1990). "Witness Defends Abortion Law". The Morning Call. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Siegel, Reva B. (2008). "The Right's Reasons: Constitutional Conflict and the Spread of Woman-Protective Antiabortion Argument" (PDF). Duke Law Journal. 57 (6): 1644–1692. Vincent Rue is credited with first invoking the concept of post-abortion trauma in congressional hearings and at antiabortion conferences in the early 1980s 
  5. ^ Jordan, Beth; Wells, Elisa (March 2009). "A 21st-Century Trojan Horse: The "Abortion Harms Women" Anti-Choice Argument Disguises a Harmful Movement". Contraception. 79 (3): 161–164. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2008.11.008. 
  6. ^ Erdreich, Sarah (12 August 2013). "Post Abortion-Syndrome: The Solution in Search of a Problem". Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Emotional Effects of Induced Abortion". Planned Parenthood. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Reardon DC, Cougle JR, Rue VM, Shuping MW, Coleman PK, Ney PG (May 2003). "Psychiatric admissions of low-income women following abortion and childbirth". CMAJ. 168 (10): 1253–6. PMC 154179free to read. PMID 12743066. 
  9. ^ Arthur, Joyce (Autumn–Winter 2003). "Beware of Meaningless Studies by Anti-Choice Researchers". Pro-Choice Action Network. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Coleman PK, Coyle CT, Shuping M, Rue VM (May 2009). "Induced abortion and anxiety, mood, and substance abuse disorders: isolating the effects of abortion in the national comorbidity survey". J Psychiatr Res. 43 (8): 770–6. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2008.10.009. PMID 19046750. 
  11. ^ Dreweke, Jorge (5 March 2012). "Study Purporting to Show Link Between Abortion and Mental Health Problems Decisively Debunked". Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Carmon, Irin (10 June 2014). "Who is Vincent Rue?". MSNBC. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Redden, Molly (21 October 2014). "Judge Rips Alabama for Hiring a Discredited Abortion Foe". Mother Jones. Retrieved 22 October 2014.