Abortion Reporting: Vermont (2017)

Tessa Longbons  

The Charlotte Lozier Institute’s summary of Vermont’s 2018 abortion report is forthcoming.

 

Vermont’s abortion report for 2017 was published in October 2019 by the Vermont Department of Health. The report shows that abortions in the Green Mountain State declined from the previous year.

 

Changes in Vermont Abortions, 2016-2017

Information on Planned Parenthood’s Vermont market share is not publicly available

 

Abortion Totals and Trends

 

There were 1,203 abortions reported in Vermont in 2017, down seven percent from the 1,298 reported in 2016. Of the abortions reported in 2017, 639 were chemical abortions, a decrease of almost 10 percent from the previous year. Chemical abortions made up 53 percent of the abortions reported in 2017. Vermont reports that the resident abortion rate in 2017 was 8.7 per 1,000 women of childbearing age. The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that the total abortion rate, including abortions performed on nonresidents, was 10.5 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44 in 2017 (Fig. 2).

 

State Report Summary

 

Of the 1,203 abortions reported in 2017, eighty-two percent were performed on Vermont residents. Eighteen percent were performed on nonresidents, including 10 percent on women from New Hampshire. The vast majority of the abortions (90 percent) were performed on women who were white, consistent with Vermont’s population of women between the ages of 15 and 44, which is 94 percent white. Three percent of the abortions were performed on African American women and an additional three percent on women of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage. Seven abortions were performed on Native American women (0.6 percent), and 27 abortions were performed on women of other, non-white races (two percent). Nine abortions were performed on women of unknown race.

 

Nine percent of the abortions reported in Vermont were performed on girls under the age of 20, of whom two were under the age of 15. Fifty-five percent were performed on women in their twenties (28 percent on women ages 20 to 24, and 27 percent on women ages 25 to 29). Thirty-one percent of the abortions were on women in their thirties, and four percent were on women ages 40 or older. Two of the abortions were on women whose ages were not reported.

 

The majority of the abortions reported in Vermont were performed on women who had finished high school. Six percent of the abortions were on women with fewer than 12 years of education, while 39 percent were on women who had a high school education and 22 percent on women who had finished one to three years of college. Twenty percent were performed on women with four or more years of college, and 13 percent on women whose level of education was not reported. Fifteen percent of the abortions were on married women, while 82 percent were on unmarried women (including 19 women in civil unions) and three percent on women of unknown marital status. Just over half the women undergoing abortions in Vermont already had children. Twenty-one percent had one child, and 30 percent had two or more, compared to 49 percent who had no children.

 

Ninety-two percent of Vermont abortions were performed in the first trimester, while eight percent were performed in the second trimester or later. Seventy-one percent of the abortions occurred at nine weeks of gestation or earlier. Fourteen percent were performed between nine and 10 weeks and seven percent between 11 and 12 weeks. Four percent of the abortions were performed early in the second trimester between 13 and 15 weeks of gestation. Three percent were performed between 16 and 20 weeks, and 1.3 percent at 21 weeks or later. One abortion was performed at an unknown point in pregnancy. Fifty-three percent of the abortions were chemical, while 41 percent were performed using suction curettage and six percent using other methods.

 

Vermont Abortion Centers

 

Vermont reports how many abortions were performed in each type of facility – clinics, hospitals, and doctors’ offices. In 2017, the vast majority, 1,100 abortions, occurred in clinics. There were 13 abortions that were performed in doctors’ offices, and 90 that were performed in hospitals. There is a possibility that hospital abortions could increase because in September 2017, one Vermont hospital announced that it would begin performing elective abortions, rather than offering only abortions it deemed medically necessary as it did in the past.

 

Vermont does not provide the names of the facilities or indicate the number of abortions performed in each individual clinic. However, all of Vermont’s abortion clinics are operated by Planned Parenthood, making it likely that Planned Parenthood is responsible for most of the abortions that occur in the state. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood performs more than 35 percent of all abortions, and its market share continues to increase.

 

State Ranking

 

In the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s survey of abortion reporting across the county, Vermont’s reporting is tied for 31st best. As the 45th state to release data for 2017, Vermont could improve its reporting by making vital statistics reports available in a timelier manner. Vermont could also provide information on the methods of payment used to fund abortions in the state. The Green Mountain State is one of just 15 states to pay for elective abortions through state Medicaid.

 

  1. Vermont publishes the resident state abortion rate, calculated using the following formula: (abortions performed on Vermont residents ÷ number of resident women ages 15-44) x 1,000. Because a large proportion of Vermont abortions are performed on nonresident women, the Charlotte Lozier Institute has also calculated the occurrence abortion rate using the following formula: (total abortions performed in Vermont on both residents and nonresidents ÷ number of resident women ages 15-44) x 1,000.

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