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Can a Catholic Lawyer Represent a Minor Seeking a Judicial Bypass for an Abortion?

33 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2005 Last revised: 5 Sep 2017

Larry Cunningham

St. John's University School of Law

Date Written: April 1, 2005

Abstract

In some states, a minor cannot obtain an abortion without first notifying and/or obtaining consent from one or both parents. The Supreme Court has required these states to provide a judicial bypass mechanism in which a minor who fears retribution or who is otherwise unable to satisfy the consent/notification statute, can seek permission from a court instead. The question I present is this: Can a Catholic lawyer represent a minor in such a proceeding? I analyze the problem under canon law, catholic theology, and legal ethics. On balance, I conclude that a Catholic lawyer should not undertake the representation of a minor in a judicial bypass proceeding.

Keywords: abortion, judicial bypass, minor, child, Supreme Court, Catholic, lawyer, theology, canon law

Suggested Citation

Cunningham, Larry, Can a Catholic Lawyer Represent a Minor Seeking a Judicial Bypass for an Abortion? (April 1, 2005). Catholic Lawyer, Vol. 44, No. 2, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=711202 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.711202

Larry Cunningham (Contact Author)

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718-990-7616 (Phone)

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