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Health News Florida

A UNF poll finds that 57% of Florida voters oppose Legislature's push to restrict abortion

 Demonstrators chant slogans during a rally in support of abortion rights on May 23, 2019, in Miami.
Lynne Sladky
/
AP
Demonstrators chant during a rally in support of abortion rights on May 23, 2019, in Miami.

Opposition was slightly higher when respondents were told that the bill does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

A majority of Florida voters disagree with the Legislature's push to restrict abortion, according to a new poll from the University of North Florida.

The Florida House passed a bill last week to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. But 57% of voters polled by the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF oppose the bill either strongly or somewhat.

Opposition was slightly higher when respondents were told that the bill does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

"The fact that the responses weren't terribly different speaks to the highly partisan and emotional nature of the abortion debate," said Michael Binder, faculty director of the lab and a professor of political science. "People tend to know where they stand on the issue, and question wording doesn't change very many people's minds."

Results broke dramatically along party lines: 51% of Republicans in the survey agreed with the bill but only 14% of Democrats.

Voters also were asked whether they agree with a bill that would prohibit school districts from encouraging discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in lower grades. A total of 49% opposed the proposal. which critics have dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill. Some 40% of respondents supported it either somewhat or strongly.

Again, the results differed by political party, with support from 54% of Republicans but only 26% of Democrats.

The poll, released Tuesday, is based on phone interviews with 685 registered voters from Feb. 7- 20. A total of 36% were Democrats, 36% Republicans and 29% no party affiliation or other.

The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.74 percentage points.


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