There is no question where the Church stands on the sanctity of human life. Mother Church continues to stand firm that life begins at conception, and that every human being has a right to that life until his or her natural death.
I, for one, am never surprised when our elected officials misquote, misrepresent or malign Church teaching regarding life issues. I wasn't surprised when presidential candidate John McCain on one hand stated that he was pro-life, yet bragged about approving two of the most pro-choice justices we have on the bench during his tenure as US Senator. I wasn't surprised when Nancy Pelosi misquoted St. Augustine and misrepresented Church teaching on human conception last year. I wasn't surprised when Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins ignored an explicit request by his Bishops and awarded President Obama with an honorary degree. I am not surprised by my US Representative Tim Ryan's statement which outright insults anyone who accepts Catholic teaching on contraception.
I am not surprised because I never underestimate the desire for power among the human race. The issues surrounding birth control and abortion are the kinds of issues that our elected officials use to achieve that power. Let's face it, our society needs birth control and abortion because we think we need it, and as long as we are focused on these issues themselves, we will remain blind to a much more important fact: contraception and abortion are symptoms of a much, much greater problem. That greater problem is RELATIVISM.
Pope Benedict XVI said in a homily delivered just before he was elected Pope: "We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires." Relativism opposes Church teaching at the most elementary level, declaring that there is no absolute truth, and that we all have the ability to determine what is right and wrong for us. Our wants determine our needs.
Kind of like the serpant told Eve, huh?
As Christians, we know full well that there is such a thing as absolute truth, and it comes from the Lord Himself. We are created in Gods image, and as such, we aren't a mass of flesh governed by our desires. We have dominion over all creation, including over ourselves. We have the ability to control our desires, and we have the capacity to love one another enough to not want merely to use each other to fulfill a bodily function. At the heart of the abortion and contraception controversy is the expendability of others (even the unborn) in the quest to achieve fulfillment of our wants, which even give us the right to deny human existence.
In the face of this absolute truth, there is no possible argument that can stand for something like contraception. Arguing a "need" for birth control becomes moot when the relativistic mentality regarding human sexuality is squashed by conversion.
I think, however, the widespread acceptance of relativism goes much further beyond just the issues. I stated previously that abortion and birth control are issues used by politicians to achieve an end. Consider this: who will step in and govern humanity when human beings, more and more wrapped up in a relativist lifestyle which fully services their own individual desires eventually at the expense of others, have lost the capacity to truly govern themselves?