A majority of Floridians say they support legislation to protect unborn babies once a heartbeat can be detected, according to a new poll.
Ragnar Research conducted the poll on behalf of SBA Pro-Life America and the Florida Family Policy Council among 500 Floridians between February 27 and March with a margin of error of ±4%. The investigation came before Republican lawmakers in Florida introduced similar bills in the state House and Senate on Tuesday that would ban abortions in the state after six weeks of pregnancy with exceptions.
Overall, the survey shows that 62% of Floridians support legislation to protect unborn babies when a heartbeat is detected – around six weeks pregnant – with exceptions for rape, incest and mother’s life. By gender, 58% of women and 66% of men say they would support a six-week heartbeat law. By age group, 60% of 18-44 year olds, 68% of 45-64 year olds, 55% of Floridians 65 and over say they would support such a law.
By ethnicity, 58% of white respondents, 76% of Hispanics, 61% of black respondents, would support a six-week law. That sentiment is shared by 69% of Florida Republican voters, 54% of Democrats and 61% of independents, according to the poll report. Twelve percent of Floridians say they are unsure and 26% say they would not support a six-week heartbeat law.
“When it comes to protecting Florida’s children, born and unborn, we must always do the right thing, regardless of the political consequences. But it’s also good to know that more than 60% of Floridians want see an unborn child protected after a detectable heartbeat,” said John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council.
“It makes a heartbeat in Florida good politics and good politics. We will continue to work to protect mothers and their unborn children and advocate to provide them with help and support through private and public resources. We can and should love them both,” Stemberger continued.
New poll finds 62% of Floridians support legislation to protect unborn babies when their heartbeat can be detected (with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother)
Includes 61% independent, 58% women and 76% Hispanic voters https://t.co/NFoI8GRydL
— SBA Pro-Life America (@sbaprolife) March 7, 2023
Survey respondents were also asked: “Does knowing that the heart is the first functioning organ to develop and circulate oxygenated blood to grow the baby make you more or less likely to bear a heartbeat bill? Forty-nine percent of respondents say knowledge makes them more likely, including 34% who say “much more likely” and 16% who say “somewhat more likely.”
Twenty-six percent say they don’t know and 25% say “less likely”, including 15% who say “much less likely” and 10% who say “a little less likely”.
At the question : “Scientific evidence shows that the presence of a child’s heartbeat in the womb indicates a very high probability of survival until delivery. Does this evidence make you more or less likely to support a heartbeat bill? 51% of respondents say ‘more likely’, while 24% don’t know and 24% are ‘less likely’.
Respondents were also asked:Heartbeat Protection v. No Protection: Which of the following statements comes closest to your opinion? ” And “Heartbeat v. 15-Week Protection v. No Protection: Which of the following statements comes closest to your opinion? »
When choosing between heartbeat protection and no protection, 61% say they support “limiting abortions after heartbeat has been detected with exceptions.” Sixteen percent say they don’t know and 23 percent say they want “unrestricted abortion for some reason.” “
When given the choice of heartbeat protection, 15-week protection, or no protection, 40% support limiting abortion after a heartbeat is detected with exceptions. Twenty-four support limiting abortion to 15 weeks with exceptions, 15% don’t know, and 21% support unrestricted abortion for any reason. Overall, 64% of respondents to this question support limits with exceptions, while 21% support abortion on demand.
The pollster concluded that the results show that “support is strong whether Floridians are being offered alternatives or simply considering the bill alone, and support for a heartbeat bill is much stronger than opposition”.
“Even if you combine those who have no opinion with those who oppose any restrictions, you still have a minority of just 36%,” detailed Ragnar Research. “Opposing this common sense bill will be an unpopular position for any lawmaker except those in highly polarized districts. However the question is posed, strong majorities of Floridians want to see a heartbeat bill passed.
SBA Pro-Life America South Regional Director Caitlin Connors said the survey results show “Floridians are compassionate and recognize the science of human life in the womb.”
“When an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected, that child has more than one 90% chance of surviving be born. It stands to reason that they and their mothers deserve the protection of the law,” Connors continued. “As the 2023 legislative session begins, powerful pro-life Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and legislative leaders have an opportunity to maintain pro-life success and momentum, expanding the circle of protection to reflect the will people and save thousands of lives. every year.”
Florida law currently protects unborn children at 15 weeks gestation, a point by which studies showed that an unborn baby can feel pain. Although the law is opposed by pro-abortion groups, it remains in force.
The proposed six-week ban, SB300 and HB7, would extend the current 15-week abortion ban that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law last year. DeSantis has previously signaled that he will sign a six-week heartbeat law.
“We are pro-life. I urge the legislature to work, to produce good things and we will sign it,” DeSantis said at a press conference last month, adding that he was “willing to sign a great life law.
“That’s what I always wanted to do,” DeSantis added.
The proposed legislation comes after pro-life groups in the state warned that Florida was becoming “an abortion destination state.” Florida also notably has one of the highest abortion rates in the country.
“What you may not realize is that since the Dobbs decision was made in June, abortions have actually increased in the state of Florida, us being an abortion destination state for women from our border states, because their abortion laws are currently more restrictive than ours,” said Scott Baier, CEO of Community Pregnancy Clinics. , which is the largest in Florida system of pregnancy clinics in pro-life crisis.
“Barring pending legislation, which may or may not happen, currently babies under 15 weeks are not protected by law, while 90% of all abortions take place in the first trimester,” he said. it stated before the introduction of the legislation.
The White House also admitted neighboring states are relying on Florida’s current 15-week abortion law when it condemned the proposed six-week ban at a press conference on Tuesday.
“This ban would not only prevent Florida’s nearly 4 million women of childbearing age from accessing abortion care after six weeks, but would also impact the nearly 15 million women of childbearing age who live in southern states with abortion bans and would no longer do so. being able to count on Florida as an option for accessing care,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Data from the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) confirms that Florida saw thousands more women coming from out of state for abortions in 2022 than in previous years, as well as more abortions overall and more second trimester abortions. In 2022, 6,708 abortions were performed on out-of-state patients, compared to 4,873 in 2021 and 3,988 in 2020.
And as Florida’s population grew, so did the total number of abortions, with 82,192 total abortions in 2022, including 75,118 in the first trimester and 7,074 in the second trimester, according to the AHCA. In 2021, there were 79,817 total abortions, including 74,967 in the first trimester and 4,850 in the second trimester. The year 2020 saw 74,868 total abortions, including 70,594 in the first trimester and 4,274 in the second trimester.