"We now find ourselves at the hinge of history. And the direction we turn is in your hands," said Biden. "The journey of hope is not yet finished, but we are on our way."
Women's health care was among the most prominent topics at the convention, particularly the controversial Health and Human Services mandate that requires employers to offer free birth control to employees in their health care plans.
The mandate has drawn criticism from the U.S. bishops and other faith leaders who object that it violates the religious freedom of those who object to its requirements.
However, the mandate was praised by numerous abortion advocates who were given speaking slots during the evening sessions of the convention, where they made strong accusations against the Republican Party.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, charged that "we cannot trust Mitt Romney to respect our rights."
"He would overturn Roe v. Wade and sign into law a wave of outrageous restrictions on a woman's ability to make decisions about her pregnancy," she said.
Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards warned of a time in America nearly a century ago when "birth control was illegal."
"And as a result, few women had the opportunity to finish school," she said. "We weren't even expected to live past the age 50."
She cautioned against "politicians who want to end access to birth control" and said that Romney is trying to "turn the clock back on a century of progress."
Romney and Ryan "are committed to ending insurance coverage for birth control" and want to "turn women's health care decisions over to our bosses," she claimed.
Georgetown University law graduate Sandra Fluke reiterated this argument, warning of "extreme, bigoted voices" in the Republican Party, whose plan would provide a future that "looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past."
Fluke has been a notable figure in the birth control debate since she testified in February before a U.S. House committee in favor of requiring Georgetown University and other Catholic institutions to offer free contraception in their health care plans.
While speaker after speaker painted Republicans as having extreme views that would block women from accessing contraception, the GOP has not included a ban on birth control in its platform. Rather, party leaders say they would repeal the mandate that requires it to be offered for free, returning to longstanding policies that allow companies and individuals to purchase contraception as they see fit.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
GOP leaders in turn have charged that Democrats are the extreme party, adopting a platform opposed to any restrictions or limitations on abortion and arguing that President Obama "has respected the principle of religious liberty" in requiring free contraception to be included in health insurance plans.
The Democratic platform also came under scrutiny during the convention for removing a reference to God. The statement, which had previously been in the party platform, called for a government that gives "everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."
After receiving criticism for the decision, the statement was reinserted, leading to both cheers and boos from Democratic delegates.
In addition, the party's platform has drawn garnered attention for its unprecedented support for the redefinition of marriage to include gay couples.
References to redefining marriage were scattered throughout numerous speeches during the convention, but the main speakers did not give the subject a heavy emphasis.
Despite speculation that prominent gay Rep. Barney Frank would highlight the issue in his Sept. 6 address to the convention, the Massachusetts congressman limited his speech to economic issues.