World renowned opera star Andrea Bocelli has praised his mother for rejecting the advice of doctors to abort him on the grounds that he would be disabled.
During a performance the blind Italian tenor, who has sold more than 70 million records worldwide, paid tribute to his mother Edi for preserving his life.
He told the audience about a “little story” of a pregnant woman who was admitted to hospital with appendicitis.
After receiving treatment, doctors suggested the “best solution” would be to consider an abortion, revealed the opera star.
“But the young brave wife decided not to abort, and the child was born”, he said. “That woman was my mother, and I was the child.”
He commented: “Maybe I’m partisan, but I can say that it was the right choice.”
Mr Bocelli, 51, said he hoped the story could encourage many mothers who may find themselves in difficult situations but want to save the life of their baby.
The singer was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma as a baby and lost his sight completely at the age of twelve when he was hit on the head during a game of football.
Mr Bocelli’s story bears similarities to that of England and Liverpool footballer Jamie Carragher who last year told of how doctors tried to persuade his mother, Paula, to abort him.
In his book, Carra: My Autobiography, Mr Carragher praises his mother for rejecting the advice of doctors who thought he may be born with spina bifida.
In actual fact, he did not have spina bifida but was suffering from gastroschisis, a condition which meant he was born with his intestines outside his abdomen.
The Liverpool defender underwent swift surgery and spent the first six weeks of his life battling for survival in hospital.
Praising his mother’s decision, he said “she was willing to bring up a disabled child”, and “she was prepared to sacrifice her life for me. I owe everything I’ve ever done in the past 30 years to that decision”.
In February a pro-life advert was aired on US television to an audience of 100 million viewers during the Super Bowl.
The advert featured Tim Tebow, a prominent figure in US college football, and his mother Pam, who tells the story of how she rejected the advice of doctors to abort her son.
The subtle advert begins with Pam Tebow holding a baby photo of her son.
Speaking about the pregnancy Mrs Tebow says: “He almost didn’t make it into this world”.
She adds: “I can remember so many times when I almost lost him.”
The advert then takes a more lighthearted turn as Pam Tebow is tackled by her 22-year-old quarterback son.
Mr Tebow is an outspoken Christian who is well known for displaying Bible references on his face during games.
Last week it emerged that Italian authorities were stepping in to help expectant mothers facing financial hardship to avoid abortions.
Mothers who are considering an abortion would be offered €4,500 (£3,700) over 18 months to help them raise their baby.
The President of the wealthy Lombardy region, of which Milan is the capital, announced he will make €5 million available for the initiative.
Regional president, Roberto Formigoni, launched the project by saying: “No women need to abort now in Lombardy for financial reasons.”
In April a baby boy in Italy was discovered to have survived for two days after a botched abortion at 22 weeks.
Press reports claimed the mother chose to abort the baby after a prenatal scan showed he had a cleft lip and palate.
He was wrapped in a sheet and left to die by staff at the Rossano Calabro hospital in Italy, but the day after the abortion the baby boy, who still had his umbilical cord attached, was discovered moving and breathing by a Roman Catholic priest.
The baby was rushed to another nearby hospital, where he died the following day.