Poll: Abortion Morally Wrong, Embryonic Research OK, Assisted Suicide Split
by Steven Ertelt
May 28, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The latest national poll of thousands of Americans from Gallup finds people believe abortion is morally wrong, are split on assisted suicide, and believe research involving the destruction of human embryos is okay. The results show pro-life advocates have more educational work to do on bioethics issues.
The findings are from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted May 3-6.
Respondents were given a list of actions or contentious issues and asked to say whether they believed it morally acceptable or morally wrong.
On abortion, Americans found it morally wrong by a 50-38 percent margin, Americans approved of "medical research using stem cells obtained from embryos" on a 59-32 margin, and they split on assisted suicide 46-46 percent.
Americans also opposed human cloning by a 88-9 margin and opposed animal cloning on a 63-31 percentage point margin.
Breaking down those results further, only 39 percent of independents and 26 percent of Republicans believe abortion is morally acceptable and just 51 percent of Democrats agree.
Some 68 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents and 47 percent of Republicans are okay with embryonic stem cell research. And 52 percent of Democrats, 46 percent of independents and 40 percent of Republicans say assisted suicide is morally acceptable.
Though pro-abortion groups focus on abortion as a women’s issue — women are less likely (36 percent) than men (41 percent) to say abortion is morally acceptable. Women are also less likely than men 42-49 percent) to say assisted suicide is morally all right and less likely to favor embryonic stem cell research (57-61 percent).
Pro-life advocates responded to the new poling results, including Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council.
"The latest Gallup Poll shows Americans deeply divided," on pro-life issues, he said. "But this poll–even with its encouraging responses on abortion–shows how important it is to frame issues properly."
On embryonic stem cell research, Perkins wonders: "What if Gallup were to ask the question this way: "Is it morally acceptable or not to kill embryonic human beings to obtain their stem cells?" Wouldn’t this greatly change the poll’s response?"
And on assisted suicide, he says: "Similarly, "doctor-assisted suicide" loads the question in favor of death."
"We will continue to work to change the hearts and minds of Americans by working to frame these issues correctly," Perkins promises.
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