PIP: 100 women, between 13-18 weeks pregnant, were part of a clinical study to compare 2 methods of abortion, (D and E) dilatation and evacuation and instillation of hypertonic solutions of (PGs) prostaglandins to induce labor. Women who would normally have been candidates for abortion at the North Carolina Memorial Hospital were selected. 50 women were randomly assigned to each treatment group. D and E subjects (outpatients) received dry laminaria tents inserted into the cervix, and were sent home. The next day, laminaria were removed, an intracervical block was administered, and the uterus was evacuated under a local anesthetic. Those receiving PGF2alpha were given 40 mg initially and additional doses of 20 mg were given at 24 and 36 hours if needed. Population characteristics among the 2 groups were not significantly different; however the dropout rate among those receiving instillation was much higher (12% vs. 0%). There were no failures among the D and E group. Those in the PG group experienced more frequent side effects (mean of 2.4 episodes of vomiting among 24 PG subjects compared to a mean of 1.8 episodes among 6 D and E subjects). No major complications were seen among the instillation group. D and E is more desirable as it lessens the emotional anguish of women undergoing midtrimester abortion. While the technique requires more technical ability, it can be easily learned and utilized. Thus much of the stress of abortion is transferred from the patient to the surgeon.