EMMERDALE producer Laura Shaw has defended the soap’s Down’s syndrome abortion storyline after a furious backlash.
The ITV soap announced last week how Laurel Thomas and Jai Sharma will decide to have a termination after getting a pre-natal diagnosis of Down’s for their baby.
It was met with a backlash from viewers – with disability campaigners labelling it offensive and cruel.
Parents had also hit out at the soap for the upcoming storyline.
Now producer Laura has asked critics to watch the episodes in an effort to salve the backlash.
Speaking to HOAR Online she said: “Please watch it, please just watch it before you make any opinions.
“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.”
Almost 5,000 viewers have also signed a petition demanding the storyline be scrapped.
Laura insisted the soap had no plans to change the storyline in anyway in response to the backlash.
She said: “No, we’re just totally confident that what we’ve produced has been done in a really balanced and sensitive way.
“Reading the comments on social media and I can honestly say hand on heart that we have addressed and discussed in the episodes all those paints that have been raised.
“I just encourage people to watch it first.”