The Supreme Court’s landmark 2016 ruling in Lawrence v.
Texas, striking down a federal ban on same-sex marriage, prompted a wave of legal challenges against laws restricting access to abortion.
The Supreme Courts ruling came amid a political climate that saw Republicans in both houses of Congress introduce legislation to restrict access to contraception and other reproductive health services.
The court is expected to hear arguments this fall on whether those laws violate the Constitution’s ban on sex discrimination.
The issue has emerged as a central one for conservatives, with many arguing that laws restricting abortion and access to contraceptives are discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Advocates say the cases will determine whether the Supreme Court rules in favor of allowing abortion rights to be expanded.
A separate legal challenge by a woman who said she was forced to undergo a late-term abortion at 22 weeks after her baby was born has also been heard.
In the past year, conservative groups have launched a series of legal actions in New York, Texas and elsewhere to overturn anti-abortion laws passed by state legislatures.
Among the legal battles in recent months are a challenge in Florida to a law that would allow businesses to refuse to provide services to gay, lesbian and bisexual couples.
And a federal lawsuit challenging New York’s same-day birth provision, which allows women to have babies at home, was filed by conservative groups that argued that the provision is unconstitutional.
“In my experience, the courts are not very good at interpreting constitutional protections,” said John Sommersohn, a law professor at the University of Toronto who specializes in constitutional law.
“There are very few things the Supreme Courts are not willing to overturn, and the ones they are willing to do so are often in cases involving social issues or racial justice.”
The Supreme court has ruled in favour of same-gender marriage, but the court has yet to take up a similar issue that would affect abortion.
In a ruling in June, the court ruled that the state of North Dakota could not ban abortion services that fall outside its definition of “medically necessary” because the law is based on “the very premise that there is no moral difference between abortion and a procedure to prevent birth.”
In another ruling in May, the Supreme court struck down North Carolina’s restrictive abortion law.
But the court is not expected to take a similar case.
And it has not ruled on a state law requiring doctors who perform abortions to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, an abortion restriction that the Supreme the state is considering.
The abortion restrictions have become a hot topic in the 2016 presidential race.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, has argued that abortion rights are rooted in racism, saying that women who seek abortions are criminals.
Last week, she said: “We must protect life, because it is the most precious gift of our country.”
Conservative lawmakers have called on the court to take the abortion issue.
“It’s the only issue where the courts don’t really give the justices much power to interpret,” said William Saletan, executive director of the pro-life group Center for Reproductive Rights.
“The court has never been really sympathetic to the rights of women who are pregnant.
They’re the only ones who get to decide that.”
The court has also ruled against some federal laws that restrict access of abortion services.
In one case, the high court rejected an attempt by a group of women to sue the state that regulates abortions.
The case involved two women in Arkansas who sought to have an abortion after their first child was born.
The group argued that Arkansas’s requirement that women seeking an abortion must have an ultrasound at least 10 minutes before the procedure was not medically necessary and violated their constitutional right to choose.
The justices sided with the women.
The two women had filed a suit challenging the law.
The law has since been overturned by a federal appeals court.
The appeals court ruling came after the women had had their second child.
The federal law was later struck down by a state court.
In another case, a man in Illinois sought to terminate his first pregnancy.
The man had been diagnosed with Down syndrome and had been given a choice of two providers for a medical abortion.
He was then told he would be allowed to have the abortion at a local clinic.
The state refused to give him an appointment.
The judge refused to issue an injunction and refused to block the abortion.
When the case reached the Supreme and appeals court, the justices ruled that he had not had a “compelling state interest” in the matter and the law was not an undue burden on the right to abortion that he sought.
The cases are not expected in the fall.