Emmerdale is facing another backlash over its controversial Down’s Syndrome abortion storyline.
The soap will soon show Laurel Thomas and Jai Sharma falling pregnant.
However, their joy will turn to worry when doctors discover the baby has Down’s syndrome.
Eventually Laurel and Jai will make the decision to terminate the pregnancy.
News of the storyline sparked huge backlash after it was announced.
Now, Diff-Ability, a Cumbrian community interest company supporting those with disabilities and learning difficulties has asked ITV to scrap the storyline.
Diff-Ability’s founder, Cristina Bowman, who herself has a young son with Down’s Syndrome told the Times and Star: “We worry that this storyline is going to make our fight harder.
“The views of society are already biased toward a negative outcome with some believing Down’s Syndrome is not compatible with life, when for the majority their child becomes the life and soul of their family.”
She backed a petition calling on ITV to change the ending so Laurel and Jai decide to keep the baby.
More than 24,000 people have now signed the petition demanding the storyline be scrapped.
Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw defends abortion storyline
Meanwhile Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw defended the soap and begged critics to watch it before passing judgement.
“Please watch it, please just watch it before you make any opinions,” she said at an online press conference.
“We haven’t gone into this lightly. We’ve spoken to as many people as we possibly can, we’ve got the research.
“It’s based on real-life and I think people will see that.
“You are going to feel uncomfortable at times watching it but I hope that people will then understand why we’ve done it.
“It’s always a balancing act when you do stories like this but I truly believe that when you watch it you will see we’ve shown a balanced view.”
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