ALABAMA (WHNT) — As Alabama’s primary election draws closer, a new poll has given voters the opportunity to share their views on several politically divisive issues that impact current and potential future legislation in the state. News 19, in conjunction with Emerson College and the Hill, conducted a statewide poll to ask voters what they thought about abortion, gun rights and the legalization of marijuana.
75% of respondents support the Alabama Heartbeat Act, with 55% saying they strongly support it.
The Alabama Heartbeat Act was introduced by state lawmakers this year. It prohibits abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat around the sixth week of pregnancy. Although HB 23 offers a medical exemption if the fetus is not viable or poses a risk to the life of the mother, 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 2019, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a law banning abortion at any stage of pregnancy. The strict ban was prevented from taking effect several months later in October 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 gun without a license or background check.
When asked if they felt the laws governing the sale of firearms should stay the same, be made stricter or be made less strict, 38.6% said they should stay the same, 37.2% said they should be stricter and 17.4% said they should be less strict.
In May 2021, Alabama legalized the use of medical marijuana to treat an established list of conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, Crohn’s disease, and Tourette syndrome.
According to the poll, 42% of respondents think marijuana should be legalized for recreational use in Alabama and 47.2% don’t think it should be legalized.
The poll favored older voters, with 66% of respondents over 50 and 31% of respondents over 65. A majority of respondents, 71%, identified as white. 20.5% were black, 5.6% were Hispanic or Latino, and 1.4% were Asian.
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