Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research Summary of Caravan ORC International National Survey

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1 Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research Summary of Caravan ORC International National Survey The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR) commissioned Caravan ORC International to conduct a public opinion study on issues surrounding stem cell research. The survey was completed during the period May 10-13, 2001 from ORC s central telephone facilities in Tucson, Arizona and/or Tampa, Florida. The telephone survey was conducted among a national probability sample of 1,010 adults, comprising 506 men and 504 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of percentages expressing the results. For this survey, at a 95 percent confidence level, the results can be considered accurate plus or minus three percent or less. Purpose of Study CAMR commissioned the survey to accomplish the following objectives: Measure initial public support for stem cell research; Test a variety of arguments made by supporters of stem cell research; Test a variety of arguments made by opponents of stem cell research Re-test public support for stem cell research after the positive and negative argumentation had been made; Test whether the respondents favored NIH funding of stem cell research; Test whether the respondents would be more or less likely to support a public official based on the official s support of, or opposition to, NIH funding of stem cell research; Examine differences in levels of support and opposition to stem cell research based on the respondent s self-reported religious affiliation and position on abortion.

2 Initial Public Attitudes When respondents were asked their levels of support or opposition to research on stem cells that come from excess fertilized eggs resulting from in vitro fertilization, 77 percent indicated support, with 14 percent indicating opposition. The intensity of support or opposition can be broken out as follows: Argumentation y Support...41 Support...36 Oppose...6 y Oppose...8 Don t Know...9 Positive Argumentation After the initial measure of public support for stem cell research, five arguments cited by supporters of stem cell research were read to respondents. After each argument was read, respondents were asked whether, based on this argument, they would be extremely likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely, to support stem cell research. The results of the five supporting arguments are as follows: Table 1 Extremely Less Not Too Not At All Stem cell research could be the critical link in finding cures for diabetes, Parkinson s, Alzheimers, cancer, heart disease, spinal cord problems, and arthritis Federal funding for stem cell research is necessary as it is the way scientists at medical schools and universities across the country can participate in this research Federal funding would ensure oversight of all stem cell research, including that done by private companies, to ensure the embryos have been voluntarily contributed by couples with informed consent Celebrity advocates like Christopher Reeve have noted that there are more than 100,000 fertilized eggs that are unused and frozen and are destined to be discarded if not used for research Many pro-life Members of Congress and community leaders support research into stem cells that come from fertilized eggs

3 Negative Argumentation After the positive argumentation for stem cell research, five arguments cited by opponents of stem cell research were read to respondents. After each argument was read, respondents were asked whether, based on this argument, they would be extremely likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely, to support stem cell research. The results of the five opposing arguments are as follows: Table 2 Less Not Too Not At All Extremely Federal funding for stem cell research on stem cells obtained from fertilized eggs is unnecessary because alternatives for using stem cells from adult tissue are available Fertilized eggs have the same moral status as human beings and therefore they should not be used for medical research despite the potential health benefits Federal funding for stem cell research from fertilized eggs is unlawful because existing law prohibits using federal funds in any research that involves the destruction of a fertilized egg Stem cell research is more similar to abortion than to a scientific issue The ability to develop new medical treatments does not justify the unethical development of stem cells via the destruction of fertilized eggs Post-Argumentation Public Attitudes After the positive and negative argumentation a second measure of public attitudes toward stem cell research was taken. When respondents were asked their levels of support or opposition to stem cell research based on what they now knew, 70 percent indicated support, with 23 percent indicating opposition. The intensity of support or opposition can be broken out as follows: y Support...34 Support...35 Oppose...11 y Oppose...12 Don t Know...8 3

4 Respondents were then asked if they supported or opposed National Institutes of Health funding for stem cell research. A total of 69 percent of the respondents favored NIH funding of stem cell research, while 24 percent opposed such funding. The intensity of support or opposition can be broken out as follows: y Support...32 Support...37 Oppose...11 y Oppose...13 Don t Know...7 Next, respondents were asked if they knew their Member of Congress or Senator supported National Institutes of Health funding for stem cell research, would they be more or less likely to support him. A total of 64 percent of the respondents would be more likely to support that public official, while 27 percent would be less likely to support him. The intensity of support or opposition can be broken out as follows: Extremely Not Too...13 Not At All...14 Don t Know...10 A similar question was asked regarding President Bush s potential support for NIH funding for stem cell research. A total of 57 percent of the respondents would be more likely to support President Bush knowing he supported such funding, while 34 percent would be less likely to support him. The intensity of support or opposition can be broken out as follows: Extremely Not Too...12 Not At All...22 Don t Know

5 Results By Religious Affiliation Initial Support For Stem Cell Research As mentioned above, when respondents were asked their levels of support or opposition to stem cell research, 77 percent indicated support, with 14 percent indicating opposition. Levels of support or opposition by self-reported religious affiliation are broken out as follows: Table 3 Support y Support Support Oppose Oppose y Oppose Post-Argumentation Support For Stem Cell Research As mentioned above, after the positive and negative argumentation a second measure of public attitudes toward stem cell research was taken. When respondents were asked their levels of support or opposition to stem cell research based on what they now knew, 70 percent indicated support, with 23 percent indicating opposition. The intensity of support or opposition can be broken out as follows: Table 4 Support y Support Support Oppose Oppose y Oppose

6 Post-Argumentation Support For NIH Funding Of Stem Cell Research Respondents were then asked if they supported or opposed National Institutes of Health funding for stem cell research. A total of 69 percent of the respondents favored NIH funding of stem cell research, while 24 percent opposed such funding. The intensity of support or opposition can be broken out as follows: Table 5 Support y Support Support Oppose Oppose y Oppose Post-Argumentation Attitudes Toward Congressional Support Next, respondents were asked if they knew their Member of Congress or Senator supported National Institutes of Health funding for stem cell research, would they be more or less likely to support him. A total of 64 percent of the respondents would be more likely to support that public official, while 27 percent would be less likely to support him. The intensity of support or opposition can be broken out as follows: Table 6 More Extremely Less Not Too Not At All

7 Post-Argumentation Attitudes Toward Presidential Support A similar question was asked regarding President Bush s potential support for NIH funding for stem cell research.. A total of 57 percent of the respondents would be more likely to support President Bush knowing he supported such funding, while 34 percent would be less likely to support him. The intensity of support or opposition can be broken out as follows: Table 7 More Extremely Less Not Too Not At All Results By Stance On Abortion Initial Support For Stem Cell Research As mentioned above, when respondents were asked their levels of support or opposition to stem cell research, 77 percent indicated support, with 14 percent indicating opposition. Levels of support or opposition by self-reported stance on abortion are broken out as follows: Table 8 y y Support y Support Support Oppose Oppose y Oppose

8 Post-Argumentation Support For Stem Cell Research As mentioned above, after the positive and negative argumentation a second measure of public attitudes toward stem cell research was taken. When respondents were asked their levels of support or opposition to stem cell research based on what they now knew, 70 percent indicated support, with 23 percent indicating opposition. Levels of support or opposition by self-reported stance on abortion are broken out as follows: Table 9 y y Support y Support Support Oppose Oppose y Oppose Post-Argumentation Support For NIH Funding Of Stem Cell Research Respondents were then asked if they supported or opposed National Institutes of Health funding for stem cell research. A total of 69 percent of the respondents favored NIH funding of stem cell research, while 24 percent opposed such funding. Levels of support or opposition by self-reported stance on abortion are broken out as follows: Table 10 y y Support y Support Support Oppose Oppose y Oppose

9 Post-Argumentation Attitudes Toward Congressional Support Next, respondents were asked if they knew their Member of Congress or Senator supported National Institutes of Health funding for stem cell research, would they be more or less likely to support him. A total of 64 percent of the respondents would be more likely to support that public official, while 27 percent would be less likely to support him. Levels of support or opposition by self-reported stance on abortion are broken out as follows: Table 11 y y More Extremely Less Not Too Not At All Post-Argumentation Attitudes Toward Presidential Support A similar question was asked regarding President Bush s potential support for NIH funding for stem cell research. A total of 57 percent of the respondents would be more likely to support President Bush knowing he supported such funding, while 34 percent would be less likely to support him. Levels of support or opposition by self-reported stance on abortion are broken out as follows: Table 12 y y More Extremely Less Not Too Not At All

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