Abortion Reporting: Vermont (2019)

Tessa Longbons  

The Charlotte Lozier Institute’s summary of Vermont’s 2020 abortion report is forthcoming.


Vermont’s 2019 abortion statistics were published online as part of the state’s full vital statistics report in July 2021. The report is available on the website of the Vermont Department of Health.


Changes in Vermont Abortions, 2018-2019

The report does not include information on Planned Parenthood’s Vermont abortion market share.


Abortion Totals and Trends


There were 1,195 abortions reported in Vermont in 2019, a decrease of nine abortions (not quite one percent) from the prior year (Fig. 1). Chemical abortions increased four percent from 681 in 2018 to 708 in 2019. Chemical abortions composed 59 percent of all Vermont abortions in 2019. The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) estimates that Vermont’s abortion rate fell by less than one percent to 10.4 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 (Fig. 2). Of the 48 reporting areas that shared 2018 and 2019 abortion statistics with the Centers for Disease Control, 23 reported that abortions decreased in 2019.


State Report Summary


In 2019, 78 percent of the abortions reported in Vermont were performed on state residents, while 22 percent were performed on nonresident women, including 14 percent on women from New Hampshire. Nine percent of Vermont abortions were performed on girls ages 19 or younger (with three percent on girls under the age of 18). Twenty-six percent were performed on women ages 20 to 24, and 27 percent were obtained by women ages 25 to 29. A third of the abortions were performed on women ages 30 to 39. Five percent were on women who were age 40 or older.


Eighty-nine percent of the abortions occurring in Vermont were performed on white women. Four percent were on black women, and three percent were on Asian or Pacific Islander women. There were three abortions on American Indian women and four abortions on women of other races. Race was not reported for two percent of the abortions. CLI estimates that Vermont’s black abortion rate (20.4 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44) was twice the white rate (9.9).


Half the abortions were performed on women with no children. A fifth were on women with one child, and 30 percent were on women with two or more children. Eighteen percent of the abortions were performed on women who were married or separated. Seventy-one percent were on unmarried women, and 11 percent were on women of unknown marital status.


Forty-eight percent of Vermont abortions were on women who had attended college, with 22 percent on women with one to three years of college and 26 percent on women with four or more years. Twenty-seven percent of Vermont abortions were on women who had graduated from high school, and seven percent were performed on women with less than a high school education. Education was not reported for 18 percent of the abortions.


Seventy-three percent of Vermont abortions were performed before nine weeks of gestation. Thirteen percent were performed between nine and 10 weeks, and four percent each occurred between 11 to 12 and 13 to 15 weeks of gestation. Another four percent were reported from 16 to 20 weeks. Eighteen abortions, 1.5 percent of the total, were performed at 21 weeks of gestation or later.


A majority of Vermont abortions, 59 percent, were chemical. A third were suction curettage procedures, and seven percent were performed using a different procedure. Eighty-nine percent of the abortions occurred in abortion clinics, while nine percent were performed in hospitals and one percent were reported by doctor’s offices.


Conscience Violations in Vermont


In 2017, the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) revised its abortion policies and began  performing elective abortions. As a recipient of federal funds, UVMMC is required to abide by conscience protections for personnel who have a moral or religious objection to abortion. However, in 2017, UVMMC coerced a nurse whom the hospital knew was a conscience objector into helping with an abortion. The nurse filed a complaint with Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights, which investigated. The Office of Civil Rights found that the nurse’s rights had been violated and filed a lawsuit against UVMMC. In 2021, though, Biden Administration’s Health and Human Services abandoned the lawsuit.


State Ranking


In 2016, CLI evaluated abortion reporting across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. Vermont’s reporting tied for 31st best. Since Vermont uses state funds to pay for abortions for Medicaid eligible women, the state could report the method of payment for each abortion. Vermont could also report whether any abortions resulted in complications.


  1. Rates were calculated by CLI using the following formula: (total number of abortions performed in Vermont ÷ number of resident women ages 15-44) x 1,000. Rates may differ slightly from previous CLI articles due to revised population estimates. Population estimates were obtained from the CDC WONDER database.


Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.


Click here to view reporting from:20182017


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