In the 2-year period July I, 1970—June 30, 1972, 446,052 legal abortions were reported in New York State. Twenty-five deaths associated with legal abortions performed in this 2-year period were reported to the Departments of Health of New York City and New York State, and the Center for Disease Control. In addition, a mail survey of obstetrician-gynecologists throughout the United States discovered 4 previously unreported deaths. Based on the total of 29 deaths, the overall case-fatality ratio was 6.5 per 100,000. There was no significant difference between the fatality ratios for New York residents and nonresidents. The risk of death was 7 times higher for women who underwent abortion at 13 weeks' gestation or more than for those who had abortions at 12 weeks or less. Compared with suction or sharp curettage, saline-amniotic fluid exchange was associated with a 7 to 9 times greater risk of mortality, and hysterotomy with a risk of mortality 100 times greater.