Poll: Majority of Floridians think 6-week abortion ban is too strict

April 11, 2024

A majority of Floridians in a new poll said they think a six-week abortion ban is too strict, but so far only 42 percent said they will vote in favor of a ballot amendment to enshrine abortion protections into the state constitution. 

The Emerson College poll of Florida voters released Thursday found 57 percent think the six-week abortion ban that will become law next month is “too strict,” though the poll didn’t have a complete partisan breakdown. 

The state Supreme Court last week upheld the current 15-week ban as constitutional in a move that will trigger a six-week ban to take effect May 1.  

Abortion-rights advocates and medical experts have said it will be one of the strictest abortion laws in the country and essentially amount to a total ban. 

Fifteen percent said they thought the six-week ban is not strict enough, and 28 percent said they think it is about right. 

Only 36 percent of people said they think the current 15-week ban is “about right,” while 43 percent said they think that’s too strict.  

Republicans have depicted a 15-week limit as a moderate compromise measure in states and nationally, though electoral results have shown voters don’t always buy that message.  

For example in Virginia, popular GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Republican contenders in state legislative races last fall tried to moderate their abortion message, leaning into supporting “limits” on abortion after 15-weeks with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.   

But Democrats ran heavily on protecting abortion access and narrowly won control of the state Legislature.    

While the Florida court upheld the 15-week ban, it also ruled that voters in November will be able to decide whether to support an amendment to enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution. 

Ballot measures in Florida need 60 percent of the vote to pass. According to the poll, 42 percent said they will vote in favor of the measure, though 32 percent were unsure. 

In perhaps a warning sign for Democrats hoping to use abortion and the ballot measure to boost turnout, only about 10 percent of voters said abortion was the most important issue for them. The poll showed 27 percent of people cited the economy, followed by housing affordability at 16 percent, then immigration at 14 percent. 

However, the poll noted the percentage of voters who marked abortion access as their top issue is 4 points higher in Florida than in the most recent national poll. 

The survey was conducted April 9-10 among a sample of 1,000 registered voters, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.