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Most Americans Back Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Poll
Date:10/8/2010

hat federal funding of embryonic stem cell research violated a 1996 law prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars for such work. The Obama administration appealed that decision.

Soon after, an appeals court issued a temporary suspension of the ban until it could hear full arguments over the next few weeks.

In the wake of that stay, U.S. government officials announced that researchers at the National Institutes of Health would resume working with embryonic stem cells.

The Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found that Americans' support for embryonic stem cell research has remained steady since the 2005 findings.

Among the latest poll's results:

  • Seventy-three percent (versus 72 percent in 2005) believe that stem cell research should be allowed "as long as the parents of the embryo give their permission, and the embryo would otherwise be destroyed."
  • Fifty-eight percent of Republicans think stem cell research is acceptable (versus 24 percent opposed), as do 69 percent of Catholics and 58 percent of born-again Christians. Sixteen percent of Catholics and 22 percent of born-again Christians oppose it.
  • Two-thirds of the respondents agreed that, "If most scientists believe that stem cell research will greatly increase our ability to prevent or treat serious diseases we should trust them and let them do it."
  • Twenty percent think embryonic stem cell research "comes too close to allowing scientists to play God."
  • Almost two-thirds (62 percent) said they do not agree that "allowing any medical research using stem cells from human embryos should be forbidden because it is unethical and immoral."
  • Slightly more than half of the respondents said they feel that lack of federal funding for stem cell research would leave the United States far behind other nations in developing new drugs and preventing diseases.
  • Twenty-eight percent of those polled agreed with the following statement: "I don'
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