Florida Abortion Amendment Expected to Fall Short: Poll

A proposed ballot initiative to enshrine abortion rights in the Florida constitution is expected to be narrowly rejected by voters this November, a new poll finds. While most Floridians currently favor the Amendment, the April survey by USA Today/Ipsos finds support trailing the 60 percent threshold needed to pass the initiative.

According to the poll, 57 percent of voters say they would support a ballot measure protecting abortion access up to fetal viability–or roughly 24 weeks into pregnancy. Of the 1,014 Florida voters surveyed, 36 percent said they would oppose the measure, while 6 percent said they were unsure.

The pollster also found that 34 percent of Republican voters supported the measure, compared to 63 percent of independents and 78 percent of Democrats.

The findings follow the decision by the Florida Supreme Court earlier this month to uphold the state’s 15-week abortion ban, with an additional six-week ban slated to go into effect on May 1.

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Last week, a survey released by Emerson College also projected that the ballot initiative would fail. According to the poll, just 42 percent of voters plan to vote ‘yes’ on the proposition, compared to 25 percent who answered ‘no.’ Another 32 percent responded that they were ‘unsure.’

During a press conference in early April, Governor Ron DeSantis said he expected the ballot initiative to fall short of the threshold in November. The ‘Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion,’ otherwise known as Amendment 4, will also appear on the ballot alongside a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana across the state.

“Once voters figure out how radical both of those are they’re going to fail,” DeSantis told reporters. “They are very, very extreme.”

“I think Florida voters over the past four or five cycles have developed a skepticism on these amendments generally, because they’re always written in ways that are confusing, you don’t necessarily know what the intent is gonna be.”

Unlike the recent laws passed in Florida restricting abortion, Amendment 4 does not specify a limit on its protections. A summary of the ballot initiative says,

“No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider. This amendment does not change the Legislature’s constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion.”

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The Ipsos poll found a similar response among voters to the Amendment to legalize recreational cannabis use in Florida. The pollster found that while most voters (54 percent) support the initiative, it is expected to fall short of the 60 percent threshold in November.

DeSantis has described the proposal as “basically a license to just have [marijuana] anywhere you want. No time, place, and manner restrictions.”

“This state will start to smell like marijuana in our cities and towns. It will reduce the quality of life… I don’t think it will work out well.”

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