Glendon, 69, is an opponent of gay marriage who also has written on the effects of divorce and increased litigation on society. Her 1987 book "Abortion and Divorce in Western Law" was critical of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a legal right to abortion.
Glendon was appointed by Pope John Paul II in 1994 to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, a panel that advises the Roman Catholic church on social policy.
Glendon has served as an adviser to the Vatican in several capacities. In 1995, she was the first woman to lead a delegation of the Holy See at the United Nations Women's Conference in Beijing . She has also served on the Pontifical Council for the Laity and as a consultant to the Pontifical Council on the Family.
Glendon taught at Boston College and became a visiting professor of law at Harvard in 1974. She became a full professor there in 1986.