by Steven Ertelt
May 19, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll shows 75 percent of Americans strongly oppose the use of human cloning for any reason. Whether human cloning is used for reproductive purposes or to produce human embryos to be destroyed for their embryonic stem cells, like South Korean scientists have done, most Americans oppose it.
International Communications Research conducted a national survey of 1,000 Americans by telephone on May 6-11.
When asked whether scientists should "be allowed to use human cloning to create a supply of human embryos to be destroyed in medical research" an overwhelming 77 percent disagreed. Just 15 percent of Americans supported human cloning to advance embryonic stem cell research.
Asked if scientists should "be allowed to use human cloning to try to create children for infertile couples," just 10 percent said yes while 84 percent of Americans said no.
The pro-life office of the of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned the poll and deputy director Richard Doerflinger said the results showed most Americans oppose H.R. 810, a bill pending in Congress to fund embryonic stem cell research.
"Supporters of stem cell research using so-called ‘spare’ embryos from fertility clinics have long said that moving into human treatments will require specially creating human embryos solely for research," Doerflinger explained.
"Many say it will require human cloning, using each patient’s genetic material to create genetically matched embryos whose cells will not be rejected as foreign tissue," Doerflinger continued. "But if the essential next step is one that the vast majority of Americans rightly condemn, what sense would it make to take the first step?"
Other polls also show strong opposition to human cloning for either reproductive or research purposes.
A similar poll conducted by ICR in August found 80 percent of Americans opposed human cloning to facilitate embryonic stem cell research.
A Wilson Research Strategies poll, also conducted last August, found that 69% believed that all human cloning should be banned, while only 24% believed that cloning should be allowed only to create human embryos for stem cell research.
South Korean and British scientists made a major announcement Thursday about the successful cloning of a human embryo and the creation of patient-specific embryonic stem cells. However, the cells are still nowhere close to being able to help treat diseases.
While embryonic stem cells have yet to cur any patients, the use of adult stem cell research has already produced dozens of treatments and cures for diseases.