Eugene Volokh has argued that people ought to be free to impose their moral view on others through law. More specifically, in the case of abortion, he writes:
But all judgments about when human beings acquire certain rights rest on unproven and unprovable moral calls.
...arguing that any law is an attempt to impose certain values, and consequently those who have strong feelings on a matter should feel free to force their opinion on the rest of us. The argument, Volokh says, applies to any issue, but is "clearer" in the case of abortion.
It is somewhat troubling that such a view has a significant following: a testament to the low level of political discourse in this country. I can only be glad that Volokh was not alive during the framing of our constitution, as presumably he would oppose the bill of rights ("Free speech? All law is an imposition of morality; if a majority thinks its wrong to criticize the President, why shouldn't they have their way? Freedom to assemble? But what if the majority believes large gatherings are immoral?" and so on).
It is a testament to Volokh's poor ability to think logically that he makes such arguments while calling himself a libertarian. Virtually any law can be justified by claiming that what it makes illegal is actually immoral - Volokh's libertarianism seems to involve giving the government absolute power.
Not every law is an imposition of morality. Every society requires laws - such as those against murder, theft, etc - that exist not because the aforementioned acts are wrong, but because these laws are the minimum needed for the society to survive. It could be argued that this is an imposition of a value - i.e. survival - and that may be so, but its hardly an imposition: this is the very reason why we have government. Those who do not shar this value are free to take no part in our social contract.
The question before us is simple. Do we want to live in a state where the government has the power to pass any law it wishes - or do we want to live in a free society where each citizen is free to decide moral matters for himself?
I hardly know what to say to people who (often without realizing it) defend nearly absolute government power in this manner. I'm sorry that you were not born centuries ago when people believed this?