A controversial upcoming plot from Emmerdale in which Laurel Thomas and Jai Sharma terminate their pregnancy after finding out their unborn child has Down syndrome. saw the soap hit a large number of Ofcom complaints
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The storyline, which has yet to air, will star characters Laurel Thomas, played by Charlotte Bellamy, and Jai Sharma, played by Chris Bisson, who have decided not to continue their pregnancy after discovering them that the unborn baby has Downs Syndrome.
After people gathered on social media, 265 complaints were filed with Watchdog Ofcom after it aired scenes where Lauren asked about an abortion, according to Metro.
The outlet adds that, since this episode aired on Jan.. November confirmed that 182 additional complaints had been filed.
An online petition asking ITV Soap to drop the controversial act has been approved by more than 300. 000 signed.
Earlier last month, an announcement of the conspiracy sparked a backlash among some who insisted the impending conspiracy would heighten the stigma surrounding Down’s syndrome.
In scenes to be shown on screen, Laurel and Jai argue over what to do before they terminate the pregnancy after the first scan. In a subsequent test, doctors tell them the child will have Down syndrome.
Following criticism of the plot, ITV soap series producer Laura Shaw insisted that the story be thoroughly researched.
« We’re confident that what we’ve produced has been made really balanced and empathetic, » remarked Laura.
« We didn’t go into it blindly, we talked to as many people as possible. We have the research, it’s real life, and I think people will see that.
« You will sometimes feel uncomfortable seeing it, but I hope when people see it they will understand why we did it. «
She added that ITV knew the story was going to prove « controversial » but that it was « such an important story to be told ». «
« I’m sure we’ll get mixed reactions, » Laura continued. « I know it’s an extremely emotional subject. But I honestly think that after everyone has seen the consequences, they will feel great compassion for the impossible and difficult choice of these couples and for their understanding.
« And what you will see in the story of Jai and Laurel is how that decision will affect their lives for years to come. «
Emmerdale, Laurel Thomas, Down Syndrome, Jai Sharma, Ofcom, Charlotte Bellamy, Rhona Goskirk, Soap Opera
World News – GB – Emmerdale Downs Syndrome Termination Story Sparks 400 Ofcom Complaints
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