A comment has been brought to my attention that is unfairly being implied as representative of all libertarian thought on the subject. This shall not stand.
In reference to the legislation headed towards Governor Bob McDonnell’s desk in Virgina, which would mandate for any woman requesting an abortion that she submit to an ultrasound — which in the early stages of pregnancy would be done by way of a vaginal probe — economics professor Tyler Cowen provided the following remark towards opposition to it:
I don’t think highly of the “pro-regulation” side, as he puts it, since it is well documented how state intervention, far from actually helping the general public, usually socializes losses while keeping gains private. Yet Tyler clearly confuses their impulses on economics with the occasional genuinely liberal view that even sellouts like Klein and his co-bloggers for the Washington Post pull out once in awhile: in this case, the sense that self-control in the most basic respect is to be respected. Though they wouldn’t extend this as far as the implication demands — they are standard issue progs, after all — on this they’re closer to the right idea than Tyler is.
The claim of medical benefit to an ultrasound on a woman early in her pregnancy who wishes to abort it assumes that she has no idea what is in there. On the contrary, she does, and she knows that if left alone odds are she will give birth. This is precisely why she has chosen not to leave it alone. If the doctor had some moral issue with providing this service then they would, oh, I dunno, not be in the business of providing it. This is an imposition between doctor and patient as fundamental as the various pro-pain regulations that Radley Balko regularly observes at his site, if not even moreso. That Tyler reads it as something else has no rational explanation I am aware of.
Endorsing state shaming has absolutely nothing to do with libertarianism, regardless of what anyone may think about abortion itself. It is simply not the place of government, period.
Having dispensed with that, since this matter is simultaneously floating about with even a controversy about contraception, I shall now share a joke I heard awhile back about a method of preventing pregnancy:
Two sperm are swimming along, on the way to their goal. One is super eager and excited, the other is cool and nonchalant about it.
The excitable sperm says “I wanna fertilize the egg! I’m gonna FERTILIZE THE EGG!”.
The cool sperm glances over and says “relax, we’re not past the tonsils yet”.