‘Pseudo-scientists’ dropped from Oxford anti-abortion panel

Vincent Rue and Catherine Doyle were due to speak at the 'Men and Abortion' event

Oxford Students for Life (OSFL) has dropped two speakers from their forthcoming panel discussion.

The event titled ‘Men and Abortion: A Critical Reappraisal of Why Men Matter’, was due to be held at Trinity College on Tuesday.

Cherwell understands that Controversial pro-life activists Dr Vincent Rue and Dr Catherine Coyle have both had their invitations to speak removed.

Oxford Students for Life told Cherwell: “We’re restructuring the event having looked further into Vincent Rue and Catherine Coyle’s previous research.

“We are committed to high academic standards and thus they will not be speaking at our event anymore.”

The event description stated: “Abortion is typically presented as a women-only issue.

“The prevailing narrative in our society posits that men do not, and should not, have any role to play.

“The male experience of abortion is very real and relevant.”

Rue was the first to suggest the concept of ‘post-abortion syndrome’. He proposed that abortion can cause symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Rue is not a qualified medical doctor. He has a PhD in human development and family studies from the University of North Carolina.

Nicholas Little, speaking on behalf of the The Richard Dawkins Foundation which is a Division of the Center for Inquiry told Cherwell: “Rue’s work on Post Abortion Syndrome appears designed to take whatever data exists and force it to fit a predetermined theory – that abortion harms women – rather than addressing the issue without preconceptions.

“A decision to terminate a pregnancy is one that should be made by the woman concerned, in discussion with her doctor, and without being bombarded by false and pseudoscientific ‘information’.”

Both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association have rejected Rue’s theory as a certified condition, due to allegations of flawed research and methodology.

Rue and other pro-life activists have also published a number of studies that claim abortion increases women’s risk of mental health problems, including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

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The studies were labelled “essentially meaningless” by members of the Pro Choice Action Network based in Canada.

Dr Rue is opposed to abortion under all circumstances.In 1990, he said he believed women who had undergone abortions as a result of rape were performing “capital punishment on the fetus” and dubbed abortion following incest as a “failure”.

Dr Catherine Coyle has also been removed from the event. Dr Coyle is an author at Men and Abortion, a website that aims to “refine a process of healing” for men whose partners have under- gone abortion.

In 2014, OSFL attempted to host a debate entitled ‘This House Believes Britain’s Abortion Culture Hurts Us All’ which was cancelled after backlash from student activists.

Dr Vincent Rue told Cherwell: “the Dawkins Foundation [accusa- tions] pertains to women and abortion, not men.

“The event at Oxford pertained soley to men and abortion, about which I have published a number of professional articles and research studies in peer reviewed journals on this topic along with my colleague, Dr Catherine Coyle.”

He continued: “Like all professionals, I have a right to my personal beliefs on abortion and a responsibility to ensure they do not unethically interfere with my professional work.”

“I have indeed made it my “life work” to be compassionate and sensitive to the many women and men around the world who have shared with me their traumatic abortion experiences.

“I have also conducted original research both qualitative and quantitative which has been published in peer reviewed professional publications.”

He added: “I find it more than ironic that my professional opinions are censored and unwelcome at Oxford University but were previously invited and presented in a House of Commons committee hearing.”

Dr Catherine Coyle said to Cherwell: “Some Oxford students have been swayed by false accusations and innuendo.

“We would have expected a thorough fact-checking rather than blind accusations of undermining our scientific work as well as our character.

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“Are Oxford students not aware that an accusation is not equivalent to a factual truth?

“Some Oxford students seem to be ignorant of a primary aim in Oxford University’s mission statement, that being, “the exchange of ideas in a democratic community of scholars.”