by Steven Ertelt
June 3, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll conducted by the Gallup organization finds that Americans are split on a number of contentious pro-life issues. The survey found that Americans consider abortion morally wrong but are more comfortable with embryonic stem cell research or assisted suicide.
Of the pro-life issues in the survey, Americans were most likely to find abortion morally wrong, as 51 percent agreed with that view while just 40 percent said it was morally fine.
The percentage opposing abortion has increased seven percent since last year’s poll and those supporting abortion have dropped three percent. Since 2002, the decline on the pro-abortion side has been two percent while the increase on the pro-life side has been six percent.
Liberals (67 percent) are more likely than moderates (39%) or conservatives (24%) to find abortion morally acceptable.
According to Gallup’s 2007 Values and Beliefs survey, conducted May 10-13, the perceived morality of doctor-assisted suicide divides Americans about equally making it of the most controversial social issues for Americans.
Just under half (49%) call it morally acceptable while 44% call it morally wrong and those divisions break down along party and socioeconomic lines. While white, Democrats liberals consider assisted suicide morally acceptable a majority of nonwhites, Republicans, and conservatives call it morally wrong.
Still, the percentages aren’t far off from those in the same 2001 Gallup survey where assisted suicide received a 49-40 favorable split. Those finding it morally wrong have increased.
Unfortunately, the poll shows that the pro-life movement is losing the battle on the issue of embryonic stem cell research.
Some 64 percent of those polled said "Medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos" was morally okay while 30 percent said they had moral problems with doing that.
Since 2002, Americans have grown more accepting of embryonic stem cell research that destroys human life as the percentage considering this morally acceptable has gradually increased from 52% to 64%.
The coincides with multi-million dollar campaigns its supporters have undertaken featuring a number erroneous claims about what the research has done or could do.
The Gallup poll also showed that liberals (84 percent) and moderates (69%) are very likely to support the research while even conservatives split with 47 percent saying it’s okay.
Human cloning continues to draw strong opposition in the Gallup survey with 86 percent finding it morally wrong and 11 percent saying it’s alright. That could prompt pro-life advocates to do more to tie the two related issues together.
There has been a slight increase in the support for human cloning over the years.
Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,003 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted May 10-13, 2007. The poll has a three percent margin of error.