In her professional life, she added, "the Church understands my vocation as a mother is as important as my vocation as a Church worker."
Kim Daniels, a religious liberty attorney and the director of Catholic Voices USA, emphasized the importance of rebuilding "a rich and rooted everyday culture."
While court cases and legislation are important, she said, there is an ultimate need "to rebuild an idea of culture as a set of shared habits and understandings and affections, rooted in a particular place, giving a particular shape to family, to friendship and to daily living."
Individual women must work to engage the culture in their own daily lives, she said, using their "prudential understanding" in determining how this is best achieved for them.
"I'm not going to say that every woman should be out tending home and hearth and forsaking the professional world," Daniels said.
However, she observed, much of the important work of building up the culture is done through the families, parishes and friendships, and these are all important ways in which women can contribute to the betterment of society.
Dr. Marie Anderson, medical director of the Tepeyac Family Center in Fairfax, Va., explained that there is a need to break through "the culture's definition of freedom" as the license to do whatever one wants.
Anderson said that she bought into this mindset as a young doctor but only found emptiness.
"I was unhappy. I was restless. I had lost my purpose in life," she said.
In her practice, Anderson saw the "unintended consequences" of a contraceptive mindset that "takes sexual activity as a given, both in and out of marriage." In addition to infertility and sexually transmitted diseases, she saw broken relationships and broken hearts.
"I realized that women were helping to break their own hearts, and that was probably the hardest thing," she said.
This realization that contraception was not fulfilling women changed Anderson's life, and she re-embraced the Catholic faith from which she had fallen away. In doing so, she became free and found peace.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
While the culture thinks that the Catholic Church is outdated, she said, "the Church got it right from the beginning."