Americans’ views on the morality of abortion, doctor-assisted suicide, and 14 other issues are “not significantly different” than they’ve been in recent years according to a Gallup Poll released May 24, 2006.   

In a survey of 1,002 people aged 18 years and older conducted May 8-11 of this year, 43 percent viewed abortion as morally acceptable, while 44 percent said it was morally wrong.  Eleven percent responded that the morality of abortion depended on the situation. 

When broken down between political parties, only 30 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican regard abortion as morally acceptable, as opposed to 53 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents who do so.  This 23-point difference was the largest gap between Republicans and Democrats on any of the 16 moral issues included in the poll.

The Gallup survey found that Americans’ views on the morality of abortion, while showing a slight increase in acceptability in the last year, are virtually identical to those held in 2001.  In 2001, 42 percent said abortion was morally acceptable, while 45 percent found it to be morally wrong. 

On the question of doctor-assisted suicide, 50 percent of those surveyed said the practice was morally acceptable, even though only 15 percent found suicide itself to be acceptable.  Forty-one percent said doctor-assisted suicide was wrong.  Again, these numbers are also almost the same as those in the 2001 poll, where the split was 49 percent acceptable, 40 percent unacceptable.  In the 2006 poll, 45 percent of Republicans said doctor-assisted suicide was morally acceptable, while 53 percent of Democrats did. 

When asked about “embryonic stem cell research,” 61 percent of Americans responded that it was morally acceptable, while 30 percent said it was wrong.  When broken down along party lines, 69 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Republicans agreed that the practice was acceptable.  The poll did not inform those surveyed that embryonic stem cell research results in the deaths of human embryos. 

There is still very little support for the cloning of human beings in the United States.  Only eight percent of Americans say human cloning is morally acceptable; a whopping 88 percent say it is morally wrong.  This margin is the same in both political parties and is nearly identical to the numbers found in Gallup’s 2001 poll, where seven percent said human cloning was morally acceptable and 88 percent responded that it was wrong. 

With regard to “moral values in the country today,” one percent said that they were “excellent,” 13 percent “good,” 43 percent “only fair,” and 42 percent “poor.”    


Priests for Life
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