As the debate over cloning continues in Congress, Americans have cast their votes and most oppose it.
Cloning involves harvesting stem cells form human embryos or adults for the purpose of medical research or reproduction.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
According to a May <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Gallup poll, the majority of Americans opposes both cloning human embryos for medical research (61 percent) and reproductive cloning (90 percent). Reproductive cloning “is designed specifically to result in the birth of a human being,” according to the poll.
Although the majority of Americans opposes cloning for medical research, only 39 percent said the practice is morally unacceptable. Fifty-two percent said stem cell research using human embryos was morally acceptable.
People who attend church weekly or live in the South or Midwest are more likely to oppose cloning.
When the focus shifts away from using embryos, Americans are a little more likely to support some cloning options.
Fifty-nine percent favored cloning human organs or body parts for use in medical transplants, and 51 percent supported cloning human cells from adults for use in medical research.
According to the poll, Americans are almost as adamant about banning cloning animals. Eighty-two percent of those polled said they opposed cloning dogs, cats or other animals that people keep as pets. Fifty-eight percent also opposed cloning endangered species to keep them from becoming extinct.
Poll results were based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,012 adults.
Stem Cell Research, Cloning: An Interview with Advocate, Former Congressman John Buchanan