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Archbishop of Canterbury’s wife was advised to have abortion

Archbishop of Canterbury with his wife Caroline Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury has shared the unsettling experience he wife endured by hospital staff over their disabled daughter.

Justin [the Archbishop] and Caroline Welby are parents to Ellie, 32, who lives with dyspraxia which affects her movement and coordination.

The senior bishop said it was ‘expected’ that his wife would ask for an abortion if she found out her unborn child would be disabled when she underwent a test during pregnancy.

Hospital staff discussed with the couple about the high costs which comes with raising a disabled child.

Mr Welby told The Telegraph: 'Before [Ellie] was born, during the pregnancy, there was some concern and a test was ordered, but it was made very, very clear to my wife that if the test was taken and proved positive, it would be expected that we ask for a termination.

'It was not a neutral process, because they said it's expensive.'

The Archbishop went on to describe his daughter as  'precious because she's wonderful, she's kind, she is someone who gets cross and gets happy and gets sad. She's not that severely disabled'.

He added that there is no need to pray for his daughter in relation to her disability as it’s a part of her.

His public thoughts follow a misconception raised by Ven Pete Spiers, an archdeacon from Liverpool, that raising a disabled child is a burden.

Archbishop Speirs wants the government to introduce new regulations so parents receive balanced views on bringing an unborn disabled child into the world.

His motion passed the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, by 312 votes with nobody ruling against. 

[ Abortions can take place in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy in England, Scotland and Wales. ]

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