Emmerdale is to screen its “most heartbreaking” scenes ever as a couple terminate their pregnancy after learning the baby has Down’s syndrome.
Laurel Thomas and Jai Sharma will be seen agonising over the decision and trying to cope in the aftermath.
The ITV soap has consulted ante-natal experts, parents and charities to help tell the tale “sensitively”.
But producers admitted it presented the “most challenging and difficult” task the show’s writers have ever faced.
Charlotte Bellamy, 47, who plays Laurel, said: “Terminating a pregnancy is an emotive subject, but I think as a programme 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 a 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."
She added: "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."
In the coming weeks Laurel and Jai – played by Chris Bisson, 45 – will learn they are expecting.
But a test will reveal the baby has the condition and after emotional conversations they decide on a termination and then struggle in the aftermath.
Jane Fisher, of charity Antenatal Results and Choices, said: “Thousands of parents go through this every year. We are really pleased Emmerdale is tackling this story.”
Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7pm, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays, on ITV