Prof Louise Kenny discusses the digital battleground surrounding the Eighth Amendment.

Prof Louise Kenny was at Inspirefest 2018 to discuss the triumph of the Yes vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution.

While she was clearly delighted with the outcome, it was far from an easy win. In a world where social media and the internet can now legitimately distort democracy, Kenny and others on the Yes side had their doubts about the result.

Digital misinformation from the anti-choice side infiltrated the internet here, exemplified by the thousands of accounts blocked by the Repeal Shield Twitter account. Their efforts were ultimately fruitless as real-life stories such as those of Michelle Harte (a former patient of Kenny’s) and Savita Halappanavar were “etched on our collective consciousness” and “their stories were believed”.

While this particular part of the journey is over, Kenny is not done fighting for compassionate healthcare for all: “The North is next.”

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Words By Ellen Tannam