A presenter for LBC radio has spoken out against abortion as he revealed that in 1979 his mother was advised to abort him.
Stig Abell – who is also the editor of The Times Literary Supplement – made the comments during his weekly radio show.
Doctors told his mother that he would have spina bifida and recommended that she have an abortion.
Abell said his mother decided to go ahead with the pregnancy because she wanted to “have me…she was willing to risk looking after me as a disabled child”.
“My mum was told ‘he’s not worth having’, ‘he’s going to be too damaged’, ‘he’s going to be disabled’ and ‘you should probably have an abortion’ and she ignored it.”
He added: “She decided to have the baby and take the risk…and so I wouldn’t be here today.”
His highly personal revelation came in response to news that people who say they would have aborted their children had they known they were disabled have been given £70 million in compensation from the NHS.
The payments took place over the past five years and covered claims for conditions including Down’s syndrome.
In 2010, world renowned opera star Andrea Bocelli 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 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.