Pro-abortion state expected non-resident abortions to increase. They didn’t.

By Nancy Flanders 

Abortionists in Vermont were expecting out-of-state business to grow following the fall of Roe v. Wade in 2022. Combined with the enactment of an amendment that same year that made Vermont the first state to claim abortion as a constitutional right, Vermont clinics thought women would be flocking to them from far-off states for an abortion, according to media reports. But the number of women traveling to Vermont for an abortion over the last year actually declined from the year prior.

“It’s been just over a few weeks and we’ve already seen the harm caused by the U.S. Supreme Court Decision,” said Eileen Sullivan of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in July of 2022, shortly after Roe was overturned. She told WCAX that in the weeks following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the affiliate received more than a dozen calls from states including Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas to schedule abortion services. “Patients shouldn’t have to travel hundreds of miles to access care, but for millions of Americans, that’s their new reality.”

But, according to preliminary data from the state Department of Health, Vermont never saw this increase. A few patients did travel from as far as Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas, but most traveled from New Hampshire. Despite Vermont legislators actively working to expand access to abortion in the state in which there were already no limits in place, fewer abortions appear to have been committed in the last year.

In all, 925 abortions were committed in Vermont from June 24, 2022 (the day of the official Dobbs ruling) through June 23, 2022. Of those, 154 were committed on non-residents — about 17% — as reported by VTDigger.

Comparatively, in 2021, 215 abortions in Vermont were committed on non-residents, 21% of the 1,033 that were committed overall in the state.

VT Digger reports, “Since 2018, the proportion of out-of-state patients who obtain abortions in Vermont has remained relatively stable, hovering between 17 and 22% every year. But mirroring national trends, the total number of abortion patients in the state — both those who hail from Vermont and those who don’t — has trended downward.”

Planned Parenthood of New England declined to provide VT Digger with any actual state-specific data on abortions, but it announced in a press release that Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont saw a combined 12.5% increase in out-of-state patients “seeking abortion.” This likely means that while Vermont saw a decline, either Maine and New Hampshire — or both — did experience an increase in non-resident abortions.

The majority of pro-life states are a plane ride — or two — away from Vermont, which is surrounded heavily by states that allow abortion — including New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.