Report: Abortion Rate Drops in Virginia, More than Almost Any Other State

Sep 23, 2019


Credit Steve Helber / AP


New numbers released last week reveal that abortion rates are going down across the country. Virginia had one of the steepest drops. 

A new report by the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that supports abortion rights, shows that between 2011 and 2017 the abortion rate in Virginia fell by 41.5 percent. Elizabeth Nash worked on the report. 

“Compared to other states it was a very large drop,” says Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues manager at Guttmacher. 

During that same time period, the nationwide drop in abortion rates was 20.1 percent. 


More Information: See how each state compares


The report doesn’t name one leading factor, but the U.S. birthrate is also down, suggesting fewer women are getting pregnant in the first place. 

Virginia’s more significant drop may be linked to the fact that two large abortion providers closed during that six year period. One in Hampton Roads and another in Northern Virginia. 

“So some of the drop that we see in Virginia may be that people are going to Maryland or D.C.,” says Nash. 

During the same time period the abortion rate in Maryland fell by 12.7 percent, a smaller drop than the national average. And in D.C. it actually rose by 5.9 percent.


This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.