About 56% of U.S. adults support easing restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, according to an Associated Press-AOL poll conducted from Dec. 19, 2006, to Dec. 21, 2006, the AP/Washington Post reports (Superville, AP/Washington Post, 1/3).
The poll also found that 43% opposed easing the restrictions (Associated Press/AOL Poll, 12/21/06).
Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research is allowed only for research using embryonic stem cell lines created on or before Aug. 9, 2001, under a policy announced by President Bush on that date.
Bush in July 2006 vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 (HR 810), which would have expanded stem cell lines that are eligible for federal funding and allowed funding for research using stem cells derived from embryos originally created for fertility treatments and willingly donated by patients.
Democratic congressional leaders this month plan to approve a bill similar to the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 11/30/06).
According to the AP/Post, supporters of embryonic stem cell research say it could lead to treatments for conditions such as Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injuries, while opponents of the research say human embryos should not be destroyed for research purposes.
The poll was conducted by Ipsos and has a margin of error of about three percentage points (AP/Washington Post, 1/3).
The poll is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat to view the survey.