Catherine Short | Chief Legal Officer


Catherine Short graduated from Thomas Aquinas College in 1980 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. She received her Law degree from Boalt Hall, U.C. Berkeley, in 1983.

In 1985, Ms. Short began sidewalk counseling outside an abortion clinic. Over the next few years, her efforts turned to using her legal training to protect the rights of other pro-life activists, including rescuers, sidewalk counselors, and crisis pregnancy centers. In 1989, she participated in establishing Life Legal Defense Foundation, to which she now serves as Chief Legal Officer.

In her years with Life Legal, Ms. Short has written numerous briefs for state and federal courts, including petitions for certiorari and amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court and California Supreme Court. She also co-authored the text of Proposition 73, Proposition 85, and Proposition 4, all of which were California ballot initiatives attempting to establish a law requiring parental notification before a minor can receive an abortion. She was counsel of record in People’s Advocate v. ICOC (challenge to Proposition 71, California’s embryonic stem cell funding initiative), Hoye v. Oakland (First Amendment challenge to restriction on speech outside abortion clinics), and Pro-Life Mississippi v. Vance (seeking injunction against police harassment of pro-life sidewalk counselors).

Ms. Short currently represents the interests of the Center for Medical Progress defendants in Planned Parenthood Federation of America v. Center for Medical Progress.

Ms. Short’s primary focus is defending the free speech rights of pro-life activists at every level of both state and federal court. She is married to fellow Thomas Aquinas College graduate William Short and has nine children.