Kay v. Irish Rover

October 2022
The University of Notre Dame du Lac (Private college or university)
Notre Dame, IN

Identity of Speakers

  • Joe DeReuil

  • Luke Thompson

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Student publication
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Right wing
  • Incident Responses:
  • Incident Status:
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


In October 2022, Irish Rover, Notre Dame’s independent conservative student newspaper, published an article titled “Keough School Professor Offers Abortion Access to Students.” In the article, student editor Joe DeReuil reported on a panel event at the university titled “Post-Roe America: Making Intersectional Feminist Sense of Abortion Bans.” During the event, four Notre Dame professors, including Plaintiff Tamara Kay, argued that Indiana’s new pro-life law, S.B. 1, would be harmful to marginalized groups.

The article went further, adding that “[t]hese professors, including Kay, offer help in obtaining both Plan B’ morning after’ pills and ‘Plan C’ abortion pills, which are efficacious up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.” The source of this claim appears to be a sign that Kay posted on her office door on campus, which stated that “[t]his is a SAFE SPACE to get help and information on ALL Healthcare issues and access — confidentially with care and compassion.” The note included Kay’s non-university email and the letter “J.” In a social media post cited by the Rover, Kay explains that “We are here (as private citizens, not representatives of ND) to help you access healthcare when you need it, and we are prepared in every way. Look for the ‘J’, Spread the word to students!” In March 2023, the Rover published another article, written by student journalist Luke Thomas, titled “Tamara Kay Explains Herself to Notre Dame Democrats.” The article summarized the October 2022 report by stating that Kay was “posting offers to procure abortion pills on her office door.”

In her complaint, Kay alleged that the October and March articles published by the Rover contained false and defamatory statements. However, Superior Court Judge Steven David disagreed and dismissed the case under Indiana’s anti-SLAPP laws. The judge found that the alleged defamatory statements were true and not made with actual malice, adding that “[Kay] cannot voluntarily put herself into the national abortion issue…and expect that it will not become newsworthy at Notre Dame and elsewhere.”