Few issues are likely to generate more emotional opposition than federal funding of stem cell research. Handled wrongly, it could energize conservative opponents and derail Barack Obama’s presidency. There is no question that we must move ahead, but caution is key.
Time Poll conducted by Abt SRBI. June 18-25, 2008. N=805 likely voters nationwide. MoE Ī 3.
“There is a type of medical research that involves using special cells, called embryonic stem cells, that might be used in the future to treat or cure many diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and spinal cord injury. It involves using human embryos discarded from fertility clinics that no longer need them. Some people say that using human embryos for research is wrong. Do you favor or oppose using discarded embryos to conduct stem cell research to try to find cures for the diseases I mentioned?”
Favor: 73%, Oppose: 19%, Unsure: 8%
Not likely to derail much. Public opinion has come around on this, and did long ago. Solid majorities opposed Bush’s repeated vetoes of Congressional overrides of the Bush stem cell doctrine.
Meanwhile, former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson thinks Barack Obama should listen to his advice. Fortunately, no one seems to be that stupid any more.