FEW exceptions exist to the laws which declare abortion illegal in the United States. In 31 states abortion may be performed to save the life of the mother and in seven of these (Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Oregon), to preserve the health of the mother. In Colorado and New Mexico exceptions include bodily injury but not mental illness. The high incidence of illegal abortions15,36 and dubious legal interpretations4,29 suggest, however, that unwanted pregnancy still causes important social, economic, and medical problems in the United States.Although extensive studies have been made on women seeking abortion in other countries,5,14,23,26 the severe laws in the United States have restricted collection of data. Some accounts have been published,6,15,33,36 but these have been retrospective statistical accounts, or limited to patients seeking abortion on drastic medical or psychiatric grounds.