The Abortion Assessment Project-India, begun in August 2000, is one of the largest studies on abortion ever undertaken in India. This article synthesises the findings of the six facility surveys, two community-based surveys, eight qualitative studies, policy review and commissioned working papers that were produced as part of the project by researchers from across India. Public investment in abortion services nationally was found to be grossly inadequate. 75% of facilities were found in the private sector in the six states and were overwhelmingly perceived to give better services. Although some important changes were made in the 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act related to clinic certification and medical abortion, further changes during the second phase of the government's Reproductive and Child Health Programme are recommended, based on this research and state and national-level consultations organised by the project These include integrating abortion services into primary and community health centres, increased investment in public facilities, promoting use of vacuum aspiration and medical abortion, convincing providers to stop using curettage, broadening the base of abortion providers by training paramedics to do first trimester abortions, and reskilling traditional providers to play alternative roles that support women's access to safe abortion services.