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Majority Opposes Tax Funding of Stem Cell Research That Kills Human Embryos

Aug 23, 2004 | 2004 Press Releases

A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans support the position of President George W. Bush and oppose the position of Presidential candidate John Kerry on the question of whether or not federal funds should be used for the kind of embryonic stem cell research that kills human embryos.

In an August 16-18, 2004 poll conducted by Wilson Research Strategies, 53 percent of respondents said that they opposed “using tax dollars to pay for the kind of stem cell research that requires the killing of human embryos,” while only 38 percent said that they support this.

However, 74 percent of Americans said that they “support using tax dollars to pay for the kind of stem cell research that does not require the killing of human embryos,” while only 20 percent opposed this.

When asked if they believe that all human cloning should be banned, 69 percent agreed while only 24 percent of respondents said that “cloning to create human embryos for stem cell research which would kill them should be allowed and only cloning for reproduction should be banned.”

“When people understand that President Bush’s position is to oppose ‘using tax dollars to pay for the kind of stem cell research that requires the killing of human embryos,’ a majority agree with him,” said National Right to Life Associate Executive Director Darla St. Martin.

In 2001, President Bush disallowed federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that would require the future killing of human embryos.  (No prohibition exists on such research funded by private sources.)

Last year the Bush Administration provided over $200 million for stem cell research, of which about $190 million was allotted for research on adult stem cells, which is the only stem cell research that has yielded clinical benefits for humans to date, and nearly $25 million for research on embryonic stem cell lines that existed prior to August 9, 2001.

Bush’s position has been under attack by Senators Kerry and Edwards, who support stem cell research that would require the killing of human embryos.  Kerry and Edwards also defend federal funding to clone human embryos to be used in research that would require that they be killed.

This survey was conducted by Wilson Research Strategies August 16-18, 2004 and was taken among a sample of 1,000 adults nationwide and has a +/- 3.1 percent margin of error.

To see the complete questions and results, click here.