Catholic Exchange has an article today that calls the bishops to task for their lack of action against Catholics for Free Choice. It points out the CFC's latest campaign is "prevention not prohibition", which is basically the same as "Make abortion safe, legal and rare". The author suggests that one reason the bishops don't speak out more forcefully on the subject is that it would require them to address the subject of birth control, which they'd rather avoid.
I chose years ago to follow the Church's teaching on birth control, even though intellectually I didn't agree with it, because intellectually I saw no sense in a pick-and-choose attitude toward a religion that claims to have the truth. Over the years though I'm leaning more in the church's direction. I hear so many people speaking of their children as burdens and flatly stating "we're done". I've seen people insist that they can't afford more kids who then purchase fancy toys or otherwise lead a lifestyle indicating that they could if that was important to them. In short, while I haven't reached the point of intellectually agreeing that everyone who uses artificial birth control is doing something awful, I do think it is largely responsible for attitudes about children in our society which I don't like.
Regarding abortion, the organized pro-life forces would have us all voting for whichever candidate is most pro-life. Since I'm basically a conservative Republican in any case, that is no problem for me; however, I don't think that is how the abortion battle is going to be won. Mabye my faith is too weak, but I think that the number of women who have "used abortion services" is too great to think that it is going to be made substantially illegal by any great number of states. Before Roe v. Wade, there were lots of states where abortion was at least somewhat legal if you were willing to jump through some hoops. If Roe was overturned today, there would be a few states (like Louisiana) that would outlaw it completely, some that would maintain abortion on demand, and most would put in parental notification laws and a few other hoops to jump through--hoops that the "providers" would become experts at helping women jump through. In my opinion, the pro-life battle isn't going to be won in the legislature or the courts, if it is going to be won it needs to be won in the hearts. Look at PETA. They've convinced large numbers of people that there is something awful about wearing fur. Look at your cosmetic bottles. How many say "not tested on animals"? (a statement that is really meaningless). Most people I know think PETA people are cooky, but some of their messages are starting to go mainstream. We need to convice our daughters that they have value, and that all children, no matter whether planned or not, have value. We need to teach our sons that abortion is not the answer if a girlfriend gives them "news". We need to convince parents that abortion would not be the best thing for their daughter. If abortion clinics didn't have customers, they'd shut down. As long as the demand is there, someone will meet it.