Emmerdale has announced Jai and Laurel will decide to have an abortion over Down’s Syndrome fears.
In the coming weeks, Jai and Laurel will learn she is pregnant. Although they didn’t plan the pregnancy and it’s a surprise, they look forward to having a baby together.
The couple are excited to be cementing their blended family.
However when they attend their first scan, it becomes apparent all is not as it should be.
The couple learn their pregnancy isn’t developing as expected. They soon learn there is the possibility the baby has a chromosomal condition.
When they return to the village, the couple wrestle with their emotions over what to do and whether to have a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) test. This will determine if there’s a chromosomal or genetic disorders in a foetus.
After heartfelt and tearful conversations, Laurel and Jai decide to have the CVS test. The results they receive tell them the baby has Down’s Syndrome.
Forthcoming scenes will depict the couple having some very deep, emotional conversations. However they will make the sad decision not to proceed with the pregnancy.
Like many women in the UK facing the same painful situation, Laurel has a termination.
The storyline will continue to run on screen featuring their sense of loss, upset and devastation following the termination of her pregnancy.
Emmerdale: The decision to do this storyline
Statistics show that annually around 40,000 women will be told there is a chance that their baby is not developing as expected.
Most expectant parents will eventually be reassured. But around 5000 who find out that their baby has a genetic or physical condition make the painful decision to end their pregnancy every year.
The Emmerdale writing team felt it was a story that needed to be told.
With the support of Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC) they will ensure this story will be told sensitively whilst reflecting the reality many couples face.
Charlotte Bellamy speaks about abortion storyline
Speaking about the upcoming storyline, Charlotte Bellamy said: “Terminating a pregnancy is an emotive subject. But I think what Emmerdale does brilliantly is portray difficult stories that are important to tell.
“The statistics tell us that a majority of people, faced with similar news resulting from the diagnostic test, do take this decision.
“So I hope Laurel and Jai’s story will take the audience on the journey of them coming to this conclusion and having some understanding why they do.
“There are some very powerfully written scenes that I hope will give a fair portrayal of their situation.
“When I embarked on this storyline I was well aware of the responsibility of the subject matter, but the scripts have been so well written and I think the story is told fairly.”
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.
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