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Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

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Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

Maternal & Public HealthAbortion

Abortion Reporting: Virginia (2021)

Virginia’s 2021 abortion facility statistics were provided to the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) upon request. However, Virginia’s full 2021 state abortion report has not been published online. Consequently, the data in this analysis are based on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s 2021 abortion surveillance report, which includes aggregate data from the Virginia Department of Health.

Statistics and Changes in Virginia Abortions1, 2020-2021

Abortion Totals and Trends

In 2021, there were 16,139 abortions reported in Virginia, up 3% from the previous year (Fig. 1). According to the CDC, 57% of these were chemical abortions, a 23% increase from 2020. CLI estimates that Virginia’s abortion rate was 9.4 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age, an increase of 3% from the state’s rate in 2020 (Fig. 2).2

The Virginia Department of Health provided the 2021 abortion facilities report to CLI upon request. This report shows that 15,026 abortions were performed in the state in 2021, and the Virginia DOH refused to explain the discrepancy between the facilities report and the data contained in the CDC report, after CLI requested an explanation of such. The data analyzed below is from the CDC’s 2021 report.

State Report Summary

CDC Report

In 2021, 91% of the abortions reported in Virginia were performed on state residents (14,711 abortions), while 9% were performed on women from other states. Of the latter 9%, a majority were performed on women from Maryland (714 abortions). There was a large 62% increase in the number of Maryland women who obtained abortions in Virginia compared to 2020. Women from Washington, D.C., North Carolina, West Virginia, and other, unspecified states composed the remainder of the group of out-of-state residents who obtained abortions in Virginia in 2021.

In 2021, a majority of the abortions reported by Virginia to the CDC were performed on women in their twenties, with 26% on women ages 20 to 24 and 29% on women ages 25 to 29. Thirty-four percent were on women in their thirties, and 4% were on women aged 40 or older. Six percent of the abortions were on girls under the age of 20. Age was not reported for six women.

Non-Hispanic black women composed the largest racial group undergoing abortions in the commonwealth in 2021 at 43% of the total. Thirty percent of the abortions were on non-Hispanic white women, and 9% were on non-Hispanic women of other races. Another 9% of the abortions were on Hispanic women, while 10% were on women of unknown race. CLI estimates that Virginia’s black abortion rate in 2021 (19.6 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44) was four times the white abortion rate of 5.1. Ninety-two percent of the abortions were on unmarried women, compared to 8% on married women.

Forty-three percent of Virginia’s 2021 abortions were on women with no previous abortions. Thirty-four percent were on women with one prior abortion, and 19% were on women with two or more previous abortions. Four percent of abortions were performed on women with an unknown number of previous abortions. Twenty-nine percent of the abortions were obtained by women with no previous live births, compared to 27% performed on women with one previous live birth and 44% on women with two or more live births.

Fifty-nine percent of the abortions reported in Virginia occurred at six weeks of gestation or earlier. Twenty-eight percent were performed between seven and nine weeks, and 10% occurred between 10 and 13 weeks. There was a 137% increase in the number of abortions at 14 to 15 weeks, from 101 in 2020 to 239 in 2021. Seventy-three abortions occurred between 16 and 17 weeks, while 130 occurred between 18 and 20 weeks of gestation. One-hundred and three abortions (0.6%) occurred at 21 weeks of gestation or later. The gestational age was not reported for six abortions.

Forty-three percent of the abortions were performed using surgical procedures. Chemical abortions made up a markedly greater share of the total, increasing from 48% in 2020 to 57% in 2021. The number of hysterectomy/hysterotomy and intrauterine instillation abortions were suppressed, while 44 abortions were performed using an unknown method.

Virginia’s 2021 Facility Report

Separate from the statistics contained in the CDC surveillance report, the Virginia Department of Health provided CLI with the number of abortions occurring at each facility in the state in 2021. In 2021, 98% of the abortions reported in Virginia were performed in abortion centers, while the remainder were reported by hospitals (2%). Planned Parenthood’s abortion centers performed 33% of the abortions, compared to 37.3% in 2020. Falls Church Healthcare Center in Falls Church, Virginia was the highest-volume center, accounting for 1,802 abortions, 11% of the total reported in the commonwealth to the CDC.

In 2022, after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, an abortion center in Bristol, Tennessee closed its doors following the enforcement of the state’s law protecting life at conception and moved 20 minutes away to Bristol, Virginia, right on the state line of Virginia and Tennessee. Abortion is still legal in Virginia through the second trimester and is widely available after the second trimester, as well, due to an extremely broad health exception. The Bristol, Virginia abortion center, Bristol Women’s Health, offers surgical abortion through 15 weeks of gestation and chemical abortion through 10 weeks of gestation.

State Ranking

In CLI’s 2016 survey of abortion reporting across the United States, Virginia’s reports tied for 29th best. Virginia could improve its reporting by compiling and publishing abortion data on a regular schedule, releasing reports that reflect data from the previous year, and ensuring that corrections are made when necessary. Lastly, Virginia could collect and report information on complications caused by abortion.

  1. The change in total abortions, chemical abortions, and abortion rate are based off 2020 abortion totals reported by the state of Virginia, separate from the CDC report and 2021 total abortion, chemical abortion, and abortion rate figures by the CDC. Planned Parenthood’s 2021 market share was calculated with data within Virginia’s 2021 abortion facility statistics mentioned above.
  2. National rates were calculated by the Guttmacher Institute. Virginia rates were calculated by CLI using the following formula: (total number of abortions performed in Virginia ÷ number of resident women ages 15-44 [based on most recent population estimates]) 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. Estimates for 2005-2009 are intercensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Estimates for 2010-2019 are Vintage 2020 postcensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Estimates for 2020-2021 are Vintage 2021 postcensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Estimates were produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.
  3. Virginia’s chemical abortion values for 2017-2021 are from the CDC’s national abortion surveillance reports from those respective years. Virginia’s total abortion values for 2005-2020 are from the state’s facility reports, but the state’s total abortion value for 2021 is from the CDC’s 2021 annual abortion surveillance report.

Click here to view reporting from:2020201820162015

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