ALABAMA (WHNT) – As the Alabama primary election draws closer, a new poll gave voters an opportunity to share their views on several politically divisive issues that impact current and potential future state legislation. News 19, working with Emerson College and the Hill, conducted a statewide poll asking voters how they feel about abortion, gun rights, and legalized marijuana.
75% of respondents support the Alabama Heartbeat Act, with 55% saying they strongly support it.
The Alabama Heartbeat Act was introduced by state legislators this year. It bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected around the sixth week of pregnancy. Though HB 23 offers a medical exemption if the fetus is not viable or poses a risk to the mother’s life, the legislation would not allow abortions in cases of rape and incest.
The Heartbeat Act is not the strictest abortion law introduced in Alabama in recent years. In May of 2019, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a law banning abortions at any stage of pregnancy. The strict ban was blocked from taking effect several months later in October of 2019.
Earlier in March, Alabama became the 22nd state to remove the requirement for a concealed carry permit. The legislation allows gun owners to carry a firearm without a permit or background check.
When asked if they feel laws covering the sale of firearms should remain the same, be made more strict, or be made less strict, 38.6% said they should remain the same, 37.2% said they should be more strict, and 17.4% said they should be less strict.
In May of 2021, Alabama legalized the use of medical marijuana to treat a set list of conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, Crohn’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome.
According to the poll, 42% of respondents think marijuana should be legalized for recreational use in Alabama and 47.2% do not think it should be legalized.
The poll skewed towards older voters with 66% of those polled being over the age of 50 and 31% of respondents over the age of 65. A majority of respondents, 71%, identified themselves as white. 20.5% were black, 5.6% were Hispanic or Latino, and 1.4% were Asian.