New Poll Backs Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Others Differ

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 13, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Poll Backs Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Others Differ Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 13, 2005

Baltimore, MD ( — A new poll conducted by the Genetics & Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University says a majority of the American public favors using taxpayer funds to pay for embryonic stem cell research. However, other polls show different results.

The center conducted a survey of 2,212 Americans from September 9-19 that it said shows "wide support for embryonic stem cell (ESC) research that cut across political, religious and socio-economic lines."

Respondents were given a choice of four positions on embryonic stem cell research funding, including: banning all embryonic stem cell research, retaining the current Bush administration policy prohibiting funding on new embryonic stem cell research, favoring Congressional proposals to allow some taxpayer funding, and unqualified taxpayer support embryonic stem cell creation and research.

Some 38 percent of those polled either favored the current Bush administration policy (22%) or would ban embryonic stem cell research altogether (16%).

Meanwhile, 40 percent supported any embryonic stem cell research funding and 22 percent backed Congressional proposals.

Though the poll found a 62-38 percent breakdown in favor of taxpayer funding for the unproven research, the poll told respondents that Congressional proposals "would allow federal funding of research using embryonic stem cell lines created using private funds."

However, such proposals would all taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cells beyond that and the poll likely skewed the numbers in favor of using public funds.

Meanwhile, other polls show vastly different results.

A May 2005 poll by International Communications Research, found 52 percent oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research while just 36 percent support it.

In an August 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 supported it.