2014

New Harris Poll Finds Different Religious Groups Have Very Different Attitudes to Some Health Policies and Programs

    ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Harris Poll finds that
 large majorities of the U.S. adult public support each of 12 different
 healthcare policies, programs and practices, including some which are highly
 controversial. However, people who consider themselves "very religious" or
 born-again Christians and, particularly, those born-again Christians who
 describe themselves as Evangelicals, have very different attitudes on some of
 them.
     These are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,242 U.S. adults
 surveyed online by Harris Interactive(R) between September 6 and 12, 2005.
     In total, the survey measured attitudes to the following 12 issues, listed
 in order of their overall popularity (i.e. the percentage of all adults who
 strongly or somewhat favor them).
 
      1. Medicare (health insurance for the elderly and disabled). Fully 96
         percent of adults support Medicare, including 92 percent or more of
         all religious categories.
      2. Birth control/contraception is supported by 93 percent of all adults,
         including 90 percent of Catholics and 88 percent of born-again
         Christians, the "very religious" and Evangelicals.
      3. Condom use to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is
         supported by 92 percent of adults, including 93 percent of Catholics,
         82 percent of born-again Christians, 83 percent of the "very
         religious" and 81 percent of Evangelicals.
      4. Medicaid (health insurance for people with very low incomes) is
         supported by 91 percent of all adults, including 88 percent of all
         religious categories.
      5. Sex education in high schools is supported by 87 percent of the
         public, but only by 76 percent of born-again Christians, 77 percent of
         the "very religious" and 72 percent of Evangelicals.
      6. Funding of international HIV prevention and treatment programs is
         supported by 87 percent of the public, including not less than 82
         percent of all religious categories.
      7. Universal health insurance is favored by 75 percent of all adults,
         including 63 percent or more of all religious groups.
      8. Embryonic stem cell research is favored by 70 percent of all adults,
         including 70 percent of Catholics.  However, it is supported by only
         45 percent of born-again Christians, 38 percent of Evangelicals and 51
         percent of the "very religious."
      9. Funding of international birth control programs is supported by 70
         percent of the public, including 66 percent of Catholics, but only 53
         percent of born-again Christians and 48 percent of Evangelicals.
     10. Withdrawal of life support systems/food for those in a vegetative
         state is supported by 68 percent of the public, but by only 47 percent
         of born-again Christians and 45 percent of Evangelicals.
     11. Abortion rights (which were not defined) are supported by 63 percent
         of the public, including 56 percent of Catholics, but by only 30
         percent of born-again Christians, 39 percent of the "very religious"
         and 28 percent of Evangelicals.
     12. Abstinence from sex before marriage is supported by 63 percent of the
         public, but by fully 85 percent of born-again Christians, 85 percent
         of the "very religious" and 91 percent of Evangelicals.
 
     The Big Picture
     With a few exceptions, majorities of all the different religious groups
 favor all the listed policies, programs or practices. However, the exceptions
 are striking.
     One very interesting finding is that the attitudes of Catholics are
 generally very similar to those of all adults and, on some issues, very unlike
 the official position of the Pope and the Church. For example, overwhelming
 majorities of Catholics favor contraception (90%), condom use to prevent HIV
 and STD infections (93%), the funding of international birth control programs
 (66%), embryonic stem cell research (70%) and the withdrawal of life support
 for those in a vegetative state (68%). A majority (56%) also supports abortion
 rights.
     On the other hand, born-again Christians, adults who think of themselves
 as "very religious" and Evangelicals are much less supportive of all of these
 programs and policies, with Evangelicals being the least likely to support
 them. For example, only 28 percent of Evangelicals support abortion rights
 (compared to 63% of all adults) and only 38 percent of Evangelicals support
 embryonic stem cell research (compared to 70% of all adults).
 
                                    TABLE 1
      Support And Opposition to 12 Health Programs, Policies or Practices
          "Please indicate whether you support or oppose the policy."
 
     Base: All Adults
 
 
                   % Strongly/                   Strongly/
                     Somewhat          Somewhat  Somewhat Somewhat Strongly Not
                     Favor    Strongly           Oppose   Oppose   Oppose  Sure
                    (NET)     Favor    Favor     (NET)
 
     Medicare
     (health
      insurance
      for the
      elderly
      and
      disabled)    %   96      80       16         3        2         1       2
     Use of birth
      control/
     contraception %   93      79       14         4        2         2       3
     Condom use to
      prevent HIV
      and other
      STDs         %   92      82       10         5        3         2       3
     Medicaid
     (health
      insurance for
      people with
      low incomes) %   91      63       28         7        5         2       2
     Sex education
      in high
      school       %   87      68       19        10        5         4       3
     Funding of
      international
      HIV prevention
      and treatment
      programs     %   87      60       27        10        7         3       3
     Universal health
      insurance    %   75      52       23         7        8         9       9
     Embryonic
      stem cell
      research     %   70      48       22        19        8        11      11
     Funding of
      international
      birth control
      programs     %   70      45       24        21       11        10       9
     Withdrawal of
      life support
      systems/food
      for those in
      vegetative
      state        %   68      40       28        17        8         8      15
     Abortion
      rights       %   63      46       17        32       11        21       5
     Abstinence
      from sex
      before
      marriage     %   63      32       31        27       18         9      10
 
      Note: Percentages may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.
 
 
                                    TABLE 2
   Those in Favor of 12 Health Programs, Policies or Practices - By Religion
          "Please indicate whether you support or oppose the policy."
                   Percent saying strongly or somewhat favor
 
     Base: All Adults
 
                      Total  Catholic Episcopalian/ Lutheran Methodist Non-
                                      Anglican                         Denomi-
                                                                       national
                  (n=2,242) (n=403)    (n=53)      (n=115)  (n=147)    (n=174)
                       %        %         %            %        %           %
     Abortion
      rights          63       56        83           67       75          50
     Use of birth
      control/
      contraception   93       90       100           95       95          92
     Abstinence
      from sex
      before
      marriage        63       66        44           72       65          86
     Condom use
      to prevent
      HIV and
      other STDs      92       93        99           96       94          84
     Funding of
      international
      HIV prevention
      and
      treatment
      programs        87       86        86           82       90          84
     Funding of
      international
      birth control
      programs        70       66        79           75       75          61
     Universal health
      insurance       75       76        65           71       66          68
     Sex education
      in high school  87       89        92           94       91          83
     Embryonic stem
      cell research   70       70        88           70       77          59
     Withdrawal of
      life support
      systems/food
      for those in
      vegetative
      state           68       68        80           75       77          58
     Medicare (health
      insurance for
      the elderly
      and disabled)   96       98        93           96       97          96
     Medicaid (health
      insurance for
       people with
       low incomes)   91       92        95           91       91          91
 
 
                         Total  Presbyterian  Baptist  Other  Jewish  Agnostic/
                                                      Christian       Atheist
                      (n=2,242)    (n=85)     (n=221) (n=215) (n=75)  (n=199)
                            %         %          %       %       %        %
     Abortion rights       63        72         53      49      83       90
     Use of birth control/
      contraception        93        99         94      89      97       99
     Abstinence from sex
      before marriage      63        63         75      76      44       31
     Condom use to prevent
      HIV and other STDs   92        99         91      84      98       99
     Funding of
      international HIV
      prevention and
      treatment programs   87        89         87      85      92       95
     Funding of
      international birth
      control programs     70        81         62      62      79       87
     Universal health
      insurance            75        80         76      68      68       89
     Sex education in
      high school          87        90         83      81      94       94
     Embryonic stem cell
      research             70        82         62      58      95       96
     Withdrawal of life
      support systems/
      food for those in
      vegetative state     68        80         64      61      75       86
     Medicare (health
      insurance for the
      elderly and
      disabled)            96        97         97      96      92       97
     Medicaid (health
      insurance for
      people with
      low incomes)         91        88         92      88      90       91
 
 
                                    TABLE 3
    Those in Favor of 12 HEALTH Programs Policies or Practices - by Religion
          "Please indicate whether you support or oppose the policy."
                   Percent saying strongly or somewhat favor
 
     Base: All Adults
 
                                           Born-                    Evangelical
                                           again         Very       Born-again
                             Total        Christians    Religious  Christians
                           (n=2,242)      (n=413)        (n=448)     (n=202)
                                  %            %            %            %
     Abortion rights             63           30           39           28
     Use of birth control/
      contraception              93           88           88           88
     Abstinence from sex
      before marriage            63           85           85           91
     Condom use to prevent
      HIV and other STDs         92           82           83           81
     Funding of international
      HIV prevention and
      treatment programs         87           82           86           82
     Funding of international
      birth control programs     70           53           57           48
     Universal health insurance  75           63           71           66
     Sex education in
      high school                87           76           77           72
     Embryonic stem cell
      research                   70           45           51           38
     Withdrawal of life
      support systems/food
      for those in vegetative
      state                      68           47           56           45
     Medicare (health insurance
      for the elderly
      and disabled)              96           96           96           98
     Medicaid (health insurance
      for people with
      low incomes)               91           89           92           90
 
 
     Methodology
     The Harris Poll(R) was conducted online within the United States between
 September 6 and 12, 2005 among a nationwide cross section of 2,242 adults
 (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and
 household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with
 their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was
 also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
     In theory, with probability samples of this size, one can say with
 95 percent certainty that the overall results have a sampling error of plus or
 minus 2 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. adult
 population had been polled with complete accuracy. Sampling error for the
 various sub-samples shown in the above tables is higher and varies.
 Unfortunately, there are several other possible sources of error in all polls
 or surveys that are probably more serious than theoretical calculations of
 sampling error. They include refusals to be interviewed (nonresponse),
 question wording and question order, and weighting. It is impossible to
 quantify the errors that may result from these factors. This online sample is
 not a probability sample.
     These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National
 Council on Public Polls.
 
      J25287
      Q800
 
     About Harris Interactive(R)
     Harris Interactive Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com) is the 13th largest
 and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, perhaps best known for
 The Harris Poll(R) and for pioneering and engineering Internet-based research
 methods. The Rochester, New York-based global research company blends premier
 strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation,
 analysis and application, conducting proprietary and public research globally
 to help clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
     Blending science and art, Harris Interactive combines its intellectual
 capital and one of the world's largest online panels of respondents, with
 premier Internet survey technology and sophisticated research methods to
 market leadership through its US, Europe (www.harrisinteractive.com/europe)
 and Asia offices, its wholly owned subsidiary, Novatris in Paris
 (www.novatris.com), and through an independent global network of affiliate
 market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V
 
     To become a member of the Harris Poll Online(SM) and be invited to
 participate in future online surveys, go to www.harrispollonline.com.
 
      Contacts:
      Nancy Wong
      Harris Interactive
      585-214-7316
 
      Kelly Gullo
      Harris Interactive
      585-214-7172
 
      Harris Interactive Inc. 10/05
 
      The Harris Poll(R) #78, October 20, 2005
      By Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive
 
 

SOURCE Harris Interactive Inc.

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