Florida Activists Falling Short Of Needed Votes To Pass Abortion Amendment In November: POLL

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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Abortion advocates in Florida are falling short of the needed support to get an amendment passed in November that would enshrine the practice as a right in the state’s constitution, according to a poll from USA Today.

The state’s Supreme Court ordered on April 1 that an abortion ballot initiative, which would prohibit the state from enacting a law that “prohibit[s], penalize[s], delay[s], or restrict[s] abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider,” can be put on the ballot for Floridians to vote on. Abortion activists have been working to garner support for the proposal, but only 50% of respondents said they would support the amendment, falling short of the needed 60% majority of voter support, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, a USA Today affiliate. (RELATED: Kari Lake Comes Out Against Pro-Life Ruling, Calls On Dem Gov For ‘Common Sense Solution’)

The poll also found that only half of the state’s residents were familiar with the amendment and that a third would oppose the initiative, according to the outlet. Sixteen percent were either undecided on their position, or were not registered to vote.

A woman, who chose to remain anonymous, talks to Doctor Audrey (R) before recieving an abortion at a Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic in West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 14, 2022. - Planned Parenthood clinics in Florida have opened their doors on weekends and extended their working hours, with 12-hour days in some clinics, to handle the influx of out-of-state patients, most of them from Georgia, Alabama or Texas. While Florida has reduced its window for abortions to the 15th week of pregnancy -- it was previously the 24th week -- the state's laws are still among the most permissive in the southeast United States. Other Republican-led states in the area -- including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia -- have almost completely banned the practice or reduced the window to six weeks, seizing on the Supreme Court's stunning reversal of the nationwide right to abortion. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

A woman, who chose to remain anonymous, talks to Doctor Audrey (R) before receiving an abortion at a Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic in West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 14, 2022. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Nearly 60% of registered Republicans who participated in the poll said that they were opposed to the measure, while 74% of Democrats indicated that come November they would vote in favor of the amendment, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. About half of Independent voters, 52%, said they would support the amendment, while 28% opposed the initiative.

Florida currently has a law barring abortion after 15 weeks, with limited exceptions, and a new law signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in April 2023 banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected is set to go into effect next month. The state Supreme Court ruled in April that Planned Parenthood, who filed suit against the 15-week law in June 2022, would likely not succeed in their claim that the law violated a person’s right to privacy and ordered both laws be allowed to take effect.

New York and Maryland will also vote on abortion amendments in the fall, while activists in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada and South Dakota are in the process of trying to get their own initiatives in front of voters this fall.

The poll was conducted between April 5 and 7 with over 1,000 overall respondents, and it has a margin of error of 4.1%. It included 949 registered voters.

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