Poll: Alabamians don’t have strong feelings, inherently conflicted about abortion
After all the conflict, ridicule and a disgruntled University of Alabama donor’s shenanigans after the Alabama legislature passed the Human Life Protection Act, which bans abortions with few exceptions, it turns out the abortion issue is not as hot-button in the eyes of Alabamians that perhaps it once was according to a new poll.
A survey conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling found there is not a groundswell of opinion about abortion one way or another with 48% of respondents undecided, only 14% of respondents with a “purist” pro-life position and 10% holding a “purist” pro-choice position.
As for any political fallout, when specifically asked about Gov. Kay Ivey’s decision to sign the legislation, 33% favored her action, 38% were opposed it and 29% were undecided.
The polled surveyed respondents from the Birmingham (42%), Huntsville (19%), Montgomery (18%), Mobile (14%) and Dothan (6%) media markets and found the strongest support for the abortion ban by a 40-33% plurality was in the Mobile media market.
According to the poll’s summary released by JMC Analytics’ John Couvillon on Friday, Alabamians are opposed to strict abortion restrictions.
“When respondents were then asked about the more stringent aspects of abortion restrictions, they were strongly and consistently opposed,” Couvillon wrote. “71-6% opposed reporting to the government when a woman became pregnant/a pregnancy was terminated. By a 63-8% margin, respondents opposed investigating and prosecuting behavior resulting in a miscarriage/pregnancy termination. Similarly, a 55-8% majority opposed a woman’s going to jail for having an abortion, a 43-7% plurality was against requiring a woman to give birth if her pregnancy was due to a sexual assault, and a 44-18% plurality favors legal birth control with a doctor’s prescription – margins in favor were generally strong across the board, although the margins were somewhat narrower in the Mobile media market.”
JMC Analytics says based on its findings, it would be incorrect to call Alabama “pro-choice,” but concludes there was not majority support for the Human Life Protection Act.
“In summary, Governor Kay Ivey’s actions regarding abortion do not enjoy majority support, and while Alabamians have pro-life aspects to their opinions on abortion, they consistently oppose what would be considered the more stringent aspects of abortion restrictions.”
According to the most recent Pew Research data from 2014, the only state that is more pro-life than Alabama is Mississippi. By a 59-41% margin, Alabama voters in November officially declared the policy position of the state as being pro-life.
That vote affirmed the state’s policy to “recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life” and emphasized that no provisions of the Alabama constitution provide a right to an abortion or require funding of abortions.