Survey: Americans Disagree With John Kerry on Human Cloning for Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 13, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Survey: Americans Disagree With John Kerry on Human Cloning for Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 13, 2004

Richmond, VA ( — A new survey conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University shows Americans disagree with John Kerry’s position on authorizing scientists to use human cloning to create human embryos for research.

Some 56 percent of respondents were opposed to so-called "therapeutic cloning," according to the VCU survey while only 42 percent were in favor. The number of people opposing research-based cloning has increased from 2003, when a similar VCU survey found 48 percent opposed.

In July, Kerry attached his name to a bill, the Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection Act (S. 303), that specifically allows scientists to create human embryos so their embryonic stem cells can be extracted. The process kills the days-old unborn child.

Kerry has also written to constituents saying he backs human cloning for research.
"While I am opposed to reproductive cloning, I believe that the process of somatic cell nuclear transplant (SCNT), commonly referred to as therapeutic cloning, should be protected," Kerry wrote in September 2002.

President Bush opposes all forms of human cloning and has lobbied for human cloning bans in Congress and at the United Nations.

The VCU poll also found that Americans are concerned that science is advancing at a rate that is too fast for medical ethics to consider.

About six in ten, or 61 percent, agreed that scientific research doesn’t pay enough attention to the moral values of society, and 51 percent said scientific research has created as many problems for society as solutions.

The VCU poll, however, contradicts other polls that show a majority of Americans do not favor embryonic stem cell research,

According to the VCU poll, Americans favor the unproven research by a 53 to 36 percent margin.

However, two other show a majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars to be used to pay for embryonic stem cell research and that they oppose human cloning specifically to create embryos for the purpose of research.

One poll revealed that 53 percent of respondents opposed "using tax dollars to pay for the kind of stem cell research that requires the killing of human embryos," while only 38 percent support it.

The other shows that Americans overwhelmingly (80 to 13 percent) oppose the position taken Kerry — that human cloning should be allowed to create human embryos only to be destroyed for their stem cells.