by James Barrows
Andrew Ascough, Sophomore and Communications Media major at JPCatholic, will spend the rest of this winter quarter interning and working for the Pro-Life movement back at his home in Ireland.
Andrew has worked with cameras and practiced cinematography even before arriving at JPCatholic. “Between the ages of 15 and 18 I helped small businesses and organizations expand their reach with media content. Some of those organizations were pro-life.” The pro-life organizations continued to stay in contact with Andrew after he left, always pushing him to create more content for them. Unable to take time off school, Andrew worked with the organizations to create a media internship in which he could work, keep up with his studies, and help the pro-life movement in Ireland. He said “I’m going to crank out about four videos a week…doing a bit of schoolwork as well. Studying, doing two independent studies and an online class. So yeah, it’s a lot of work.” Because of his limited time in Ireland, Andrew hopes to create as much content as possible. “I’m trying to do as much as I can with the time I have.”
The timing seemed right for Andrew, as an important decision on the child’s right to life in Ireland looms in 2018. “The reason I came out here, at this time, is because there is an abortion referendum coming up here in Ireland… It’s set to be decided in May.” The referendum seeks to repeal Ireland’s anti-abortion provision of 1983, which gives the baby and the mother equal right to life; The provision bans abortion in all circumstances. With his work and media content, Andrew wants to help combat the referendum and encourage people to learn the truth about abortion. He said, “The content I’m creating is going to help the pro-life movement prepare for that campaign and encourage people to vote and understand the truth about abortion and why it’s pretty cool to be pro-life.”
The videos Andrew creates are mostly small, 30-60 second videos, with short stories and powerful messages. “A lot of the stuff I’m going to be doing is little stories on women who have been affected by abortion or have chosen not to abort, and just what they think about it.” Andrew’s first video is about a woman named Victoria who was nearly aborted by her mother. “She talks about how her mom wanted to abort her. She’s from France, and the abortion rate in France is 1 out of 5.” In the video, Victoria speaks about having her own life, how she is alive, and how the babies inside pregnant mothers are persons too. Andrew said, of Victoria. “We always talk about the mother, but ultimately, they [the baby and the mother] are both human beings and these babies that are inside these mother’s bodies are babies not choices. And I think that Victoria hit it on the head there and it was a pleasure to work with her.”
Andrew hopes content such as this- testimonies like Victoria’s- will move people to have dialogue and understand the problem in abortion. “The thing I love about Ireland is people are generally pretty open to talking about politics and talking about their views, having a respectful conversation…so yeah, I just try to start a dialogue.” He believes conversation is the best mode of convincing anyone of anything, especially when it comes to something as hotly debated as abortion: “I don’t like to argue with people, I like to talk…if you really want to get somewhere, you just have to have a conversation.”
In the end, Andrew hopes his videos will impact those who watch them, even if they are just beginnings of conversations, and that it will help the pro-life movement and unborn babies, especially with the referendum coming soon in Ireland. “Yeah, I have a lot of passion for the pro-life cause, and for unborn children, and women facing crisis pregnancies. I just want to share that with people.”
To watch the video about Victoria, click on the link below.