Shortly after we reported on attorney Douglas Abendroth’s connections to a pro-life Irvine church today, the webpage describing the attorney’s relationship with the church had been removed. Abendroth was selected by San Diego Unified School District to revise a controversial policy that requires school staff to call parents of pregnant students.

The page identified Abendroth as the pastor of Christ Church Presbyterian, a fledgling church, and included a short statement from Abendroth, stating that because the church was not able to pay him a full-time salary, he would keep his “day job” as an attorney until the church was able to grow and take on a pastor. Abendroth’s statement also referred to him “preaching.”

A pdf printout of the page is available here. (The beginning of the text is obscured by a photo.)

Asked to confirm the online statement Thursday, Abendroth said he couldn’t access the link that I had e-mailed him. I read him the portion of his statement about preaching, and asked if he could confirm it.

“There’s a fine line between teaching and preaching,” Abendroth said. “I’m just a lay member of the church.”

CCP is a member of Presbyterian Church in America, which penned a position paper in 1978 stating that “We are convinced Scripture forbids abortion … We cannot stress too strongly our authority in this matter.”

Abendroth said views within the church differ, and he is not personally “anti-abortion.”

Under California legal ethical guidelines, attorneys must disclose in writing to clients any legal, business, professional or personal interest in a subject they review. District legal counsel Ted Buckley, who selected Abendroth to review the policy, was aware of Abendroth’s church involvement and said he was confident that Abendroth would provide sound, unbiased legal advice.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have been critical of the policy crafted by Abendroth, which would still allow school staff to call parents of pregnant students, if doing so would protect the teen’s health, safety or welfare.

EMILY ALPERT

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