By Jonathon Van Maren
From across Ireland, men and women have been sacrificing their time, energy, and resources to fight the abortion industry and save the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution. For weeks, the Vote No Road Show drove from town to town and city to city, passing out tens of thousands of leaflets, swaying undecided voters, and explaining the government’s extremist abortion agenda to the public. With only one day left to go before voters head to the polls and decide the fate of Ireland’s pre-born children, many of them are exhausted but still giving it their all in the home stretch.
Andy Heasman, a 39-year-old native of Blandchardstown, has been on the road for weeks campaigning for a No vote on Friday. This is part of his story.
How long have you been on the road campaigning for Save the 8th?
I’ve been on the roadshow since the very start on the 23rd of April feels like months ago now it was a rainy Monday and I only knew Tim [Jackson, leader of the Vote No Roadshow] at the time.
What made you decide to get involved?
What made me get involved was how abortion has impacted my life in two different ways. My mother was raped and she had an abortion forced [on her] by others that left her on antidepressants. She misses that child so much, and always talks about it. In many ways I lost my mum as she never got over the loss of that baby. The other reason is [that when] I was with a woman 10 years ago just after my brother died at the age of 36, and I got this woman pregnant. She didn’t want to keep the baby. As much as I pleaded with her, she went ahead with the abortion. That left me in a bad way and I moved out of Dublin and start to work with pro-life people that helped me overcome the pain of the loss. So it’s always been very personal because I don’t want others to go through the pain that I go through.
What has your experience on the street been?
Being on the streets talking with people was great. I had some amazing chats with people from all over Ireland, and all were different but what struck me was the lack of info they are getting about abortion, the effects of abortion, and how they all think this vote is for hard cases. A lot don’t know abortion is already in Ireland, but when we talked further into it, about how this [legislation is] for abortions on demand for any reason up to three months, they soon change their minds on what they thought. There will always be the odd person who tries to say “how dare you,” that I’m only a man, but I’m a father just trying to give my kids what they deserve.
What experience has moved you most?
What’s moved me most is how we have all come together from all over Ireland to fight for the right to life. So many people along the way with their own personal stories have touched my heart–people with disabilities, people that have been through so much in their lives. These people don’t want abortion, they want real healthcare that doesn’t take a life, [healthcare] that supports life. They are the ones that have moved me the most. They moved me to work harder and fight for what they deserve.
What would you like everyone to know about what is happening in Ireland?
What’s happening in Ireland is very sad. We are being asked to take away the only right to life for the unborn, and the “Yes” side have run on lies, making it about “choice.” Taking a life should never be a choice. We have done the study on England and how abortion has affected their country–97% of abortion is on healthy babies, and we don’t want that for our country. We can’t stop people from going over [to England] but our 8th amendment saves 30 babies a day. We must stand up for those who can’t speak for themselves. We must secure their future with the right to life and give them what they need to survive. I won’t be around forever, so I want what’s best for the future generations to come–giving them better options than abortion. Ireland could be the first European country to vote in abortion, and we must fight every step of the way to not let this happen by voting no this Friday and keep our right we fought so hard to get in the first place.
For anyone interested, my books: The Culture War, Seeing is Believing: Why Our Culture Must Face the Victims of Abortion, and How To Discuss Assisted Suicide, are available for sale here.