Where Floridians stand on Florida’s Proposed “Heartbeat” Bill
Bottom Line: A year ago, when the Florida legislature passed a new 15-week limit on abortions, in advance of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Mississippi abortion law case, the public debate as was commonly portrayed in news reporting, differed somewhat considerably from what the polls had suggested. As I mentioned at the time:
Most Americans are now willing to follow the abortion science. Polling shows that only 47% of Americans consider themselves prolife, yet 71% oppose late term abortion. Why? Because somewhere along the way morality and physical reality enters the equation. Current information shows that for practical purposes, anything after 15 weeks should be considered “late-stage”. And the most recent polling, shows 54% of Americans currently favor a ban on abortion after 15 weeks – with only 41% who don’t support a 15-week abortion limit. That’s precisely what the Mississippi law before the Supreme Court calls for and it’s exactly in line with Florida’s recently enacted law. In fact, in the same polling, by a margin of 50%-46% Americans now support an abortion limit after six weeks.
The six-week threshold specifically drew attention last year as it’s the timeline in which medical science has determined a fetus has a heartbeat. Hence the “heartbeat” nickname for legislation which limits abortions to six weeks as the current proposal in the state legislature would do. As I mentioned last year, with a majority of Americans already expressing support for limiting abortions to six weeks with exceptions, we’d likely see it introduced in Florida this year and here we are. I’ve long stated and believed that information is key in this conversation. When people know what’s really happening in the womb and when, opinions about what’s appropriate often change. And what’s changed over the past year?
New polling shows 62% of Floridians support limiting abortions at the point where a heartbeat is detected, with only 26% opposing limitations at that point. In other words, by a greater than two to one margin Floridians are supportive of the proposed “heartbeat” bill, regardless of how it might be reported.