PIP: Vacuum aspiration, dilatation and curettage, hysterotomy, and, in some cases, hysterectomy comprise surgical methods of abortion. Oral administration of RU-486, epostane, prostaglandins E and F2 and vaginal suppositories of prostaglandins E and F2 are medical abortion methods. The traditional or clandestine methods are usually performed by unqualified persons and pregnant women themselves. These methods tend to be inefficient and harmful. They include oral preparations of herbs and drugs (e.g., quinine and ergot), introduction of fluids (e.g., household disinfectants) into the vagina, introduction of foreign bodies (e.g., twigs, stems, hollow tubes, needles, wire) into the uterus. Hospital records, death certificates, and community-based surveys are common sources of data on abortion. Worldwide, 40-70/1000 women of childbearing age undergo an abortion. 20-33% of all pregnancies are terminated. Abortion is always legal when it is performed to save a pregnant woman's life. In most countries, it is legal to protect the woman's physical or mental health against serious danger. The risk of death from a legal abortion is rare. On the other hand, when an abortion is performed by an unqualified, unskilled abortionist and/or under unhygienic conditions (all of which are common in countries who have a law against abortion) the risk of death is much higher. In fact, abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal death in many countries (25% and 86% of maternal deaths in Bangladesh and Romania, respectively). Common complications of abortion are incomplete abortion, trauma to pelvic organs (e.g., uterine perforation), tetanus, and infertility. In some developing countries, the cost of treating abortion complications account for up to 50% of maternity hospital budgets. Ways to reduce mortality from unsafe abortion include promoting contraceptive use, legalizing abortion, allowing trained practitioners to perform abortions for health reasons, and improving clinical management of abortion complications.