Year after year, heart disease and cancer consistently rank as the top two causes of death in our country, accounting for around 1.2 million deaths or around 50 percent of all deaths per year alone. Officially speaking, it’s a huge drop to lower respiratory disease, which only takes the lives of 140,000 people per year. Sadly enough, this means that if abortion (or as liberals call it, “birth control”) were to be included in the government’s calculation of death — at 333,000 last year — it would currently be the third most common cause of death in the United States today.

That’s right, you read that correctly. Last year, Planned Parenthood reported performing approximately 333,000 abortions. That’s an increase of approximately 5,000 from last year and an average of one abortion every 94 seconds, assuming a 24-hour operating schedule (which, obviously, is unrealistic). It is not only an embarrassment that the United States, the leader of the free and civilized world, allows such a barbaric practice, but the procedure itself violates an absolute standard of morality and the ideals of our country as laid out in our founding documents.

I’m fully aware that I will not gain many fans in saying it, but the simple truth of the matter is that abortion cannot conform to any but the basest of moralities. I have only sympathy for the woman who suffers the horrible experience of rape, and those who commit such wanton violence against another person deserve to be punished in the most severe way possible. However, no matter the mode of conception, the decision of every pregnant woman considering abortion who has no cause to think that she will die from delivering the child ultimately comes down to this: life or death. No matter what other relativistic considerations are thought of, the decision comes down to that simple dichotomy. Even if one does not believe life begins at conception, the consideration merely moves to whether the fetus — which undeniably has the innate potential to be life — will be given the chance to live. Regardless of any such considerations, circumstances, etc. that come into effect, the child is innocent and completely voiceless. That alone ought to bring some pause, even if one does not believe they are playing God in making the decision (they are).

Even putting all that aside, abortion still violates the ideals upon which our great country was founded. The Declaration of Independence, which I would describe as the “soul” of the nation, states that God endows people with three particular inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberals, ironically, like to harp on the idea of liberty in defending a woman’s right to abortion, yet they ignore the fact that the liberty John Locke and the founders had in mind was that of responsible liberty; you are only allowed to do what you want so long as you do not harm another in life or property. To do otherwise is to violate the social contract and return to the state of nature, a state of anarchy and barbarism.

It is no wonder the debate over abortion inflames so many passions, for it is a fight for the very soul of our country. But ultimately it is not a fight over the concept of liberty which makes our country unique, it is a fight over something far more fundamental: Innocent life and whether anyone has the right to end it.

Jeffrey Robin would like Michael Dean to know that none of his political role models use their Medicare benefits to fill Viagra prescriptions.