Whether or not such a duty is recognised is a matter for the courts but whether or not it should exist is a matter for Parliament. Undoubtedly very serious ethical issues are involved and judges should not be placed in the position of having to resolve them. Nine years ago Lord Justice Balcombe said: "It is intolerable to place a judge in the position of having to make such a decision without any guidance as to the principles upon which his decision should based. If the law is to be extended ... so as to impose control over the mother of an unborn child, then, under our system of parliamentary democracy, it is for Parliament to decide whether such control can be imposed and if so, under what limitations or conditions."
Family Law Chambers,
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