Abortion Reporting: Wyoming (2020)

Tessa Longbons  

The Charlotte Lozier Institute’s summary of Wyoming’s 2021 abortion report is forthcoming.

 

Wyoming’s 2020 abortion report, published online in June 2021, shows that the majority of Wyoming abortions are chemical.

 

2020 is Wyoming’s first full year of complete abortion data.

 

Abortion Totals and Trends

 

2020 marked Wyoming’s first full year of abortion reporting under the state’s new abortion reporting law, which went into effect in 2019. There were 91 abortions reported in Wyoming in 2020. Of these, 97 percent, that is, 88 abortions, were chemical. The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) estimates that Wyoming’s 2020 abortion rate was less than one abortion per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 (Fig. 1).

 

State Report Summary

 

In 2020, 74 percent of the abortions reported in Wyoming were performed on state residents, while 24 percent were obtained by nonresident women. Residence was not reported for two abortions (two percent). Thirty-two percent of Wyoming abortions were performed on young women who were 24 years old or younger. Forty-nine percent were on women between the ages of 25 and 34, and 19 percent were on women ages 35 and older.

 

Seventy-one percent of the abortions were performed on women who reported no previous abortions. Twenty-three percent of Wyoming abortions were obtained by women with one prior abortion, and five percent were on women with two or more. Forty-two abortions (46 percent) were obtained by women with no previous live births. Twenty-two percent were performed on women with one previous live birth, and 31 percent were performed on women with more than one.

 

Forty-nine abortions (54 percent) were performed at six weeks of gestation or earlier; 45 percent occurred between seven and 10 weeks. Gestational age was not reported for one abortion, and no abortions were reported after 10 weeks of gestation. The vast majority of the abortions reported in Wyoming (97 percent) were chemical. There was one abortion performed via dilation and curettage and two abortions for which the type of procedure was not reported. No complications were reported in 2020.1

 

Verifying Wyoming Abortion Data

 

To ensure that all abortions in the state were reported, Vital Statistics Services (VSS) sent a letter to each hospital and medical facility to remind them of the reporting requirements. VSS recommended that each facility query its records for procedure codes related to abortion procedures, and instructed that if any were discovered, the facility should submit a form reporting the abortion. Two facilities verified the numbers they had reported to VSS; the remaining facilities confirmed that no abortions had been performed.

 

State Ranking

 

In a CLI report evaluating abortion reporting across the country in 2016, Wyoming’s reporting was ranked at the bottom of the list along with other states that had never produced an abortion report. Wyoming has made significant improvements since then by requiring abortion reporting and working to ensure that all abortions performed in the state are reported. The Cowboy State could make further improvements by reporting all the information it collects, including the race of women undergoing abortions in the state and the state of residence of nonresident women who obtain abortions in Wyoming. Additionally, Wyoming could report abortions on women ages 24 and younger and 35 and older with more specificity.

 

  1. This data is collected in a non-systematic and non-verifiable way and cannot be used to calculate either an accurate abortion mortality rate or an accurate abortion complication rate for the state.
  2. Rates were calculated by CLI using the following formula: (total number of abortions performed in Wyoming ÷ 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.

Click here to view reporting from:2019

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