According to Rasmussen Reports, 52% of American voters "agree with President Obama’s decision to lift the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research." The ban, which was issued in August of 2001 by President Bush, limited funding to only cell lines existing before the ban was put into effect. President Obama signed an executive order last Monday, stating that:
"Many thoughtful and decent people are conflicted about, or strongly oppose, this research. I understand their concerns, and we must respect their point of view."
Although 52% is only a slight majority, some of the other statistics in the article give us some interesting insight into our country’s opinions on the issue. Only 38% oppose Obama’s decision, while 10% are still undecided. Opinions on the morality of stem cell research are similar: 53% believe it moral, 29% immoral, and 18% are undecided. I’m curious to see how drastically the percentages change once cures are developed.
Unexplored by the poll is the number of Americans opposed to Obama’s decision, who also have an infirmed family member who would benefit from a cure developed by the research. Perhaps it’s no one’s business, but stem cell research seems to be one of those issues where, when it affects someone personally, they quietly change their original opinions.
But that’s extremely petty. What really matters is that the ban is lifted, the polls are in favor of this move, and we might soon see cures to some of our worst diseases.