Washington, DC -- A new poll from Johns Hopkins University shows that 76 percent of Americans are against scientific efforts to clone humans -- and they are especially fearful of the moral implications.
Though the survey shows Americans are hopeful when it comes to some of the new genetic technologies out there, they draw the line at cloning humans, according to Mary Cannon, with the Stop Human Cloning Project.
"It reinforces what we've already known -- that the American people are strongly opposed to human cloning ... and to any effort that undermines human dignity," Cannon said.
The poll shows that one of the biggest fears people have when it comes to cloning is that it would be too similar to "playing God." Kathy Hudson, director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins, said the research showed a direct tie to faith.
"Those individuals who view these technologies through a moral or religious lens held their views much more strongly and were much more likely to be cautious or unenthusiastic about these applications," Hudson said.
This latest information will be another paper in a stack of evidence suggesting Americans believe cloning is wrong.
"Our elected officials pay a great deal of attention to public opinion," Cannon said.
Cannon is hopeful lawmakers in Washington will act on reports like this.
"I think all those things help us to make the case on Capitol Hill that we need to pass legislation to stop those things before they start," Cannon said.
Researchers say they hope the poll will spark a healthy dialogue on the topic of cloning and that in the end, average Americans will have the final say on what the next scientific step will be.
The poll also finds that among those who approve of human cloning, there's a clear difference between men and women -- 26 percent of men favor cloning and only 11 percent of women approve of it. Scientists overseas are trying to create cloned humans right now and some are expected to be born in the next few months.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Johns Hopkins has produced a news release detailing the survey's findings. To read it, please visit their Web site: http://www.dnapolicy.org/pdfs/PressReleaseCenterNews.pdf