In Bangladesh, each year about 20,000 women die from pregnancy related causes. At least one-fifth of these deaths is caused by induced abortion, a problem that could be tackled quite significantly through good quality reproductive health care. Needless to mention, in Bangladesh abortion complications have adverse effects on public health in terms of premature deaths, illness, injuries, and impaired fertility, on the one hand, and on economic conditions of the affected families in terms of cost of emergency treatment, purchase of medicines etc., on the other. However, this gloomy situation with respect to women health could not be expected to continue for long and hence the efforts of the country's health sector to deal with the situation through various means and measures. In this respect, there is no gainsaying that Bangladesh Health and Family Planning Proqgram has made remarkable progress over the last two decades in the domain of women's health. This is testified by certain facts i.e., fertility transition, success of immunization program, CPR at 54% level, and the decline in TFR from 6.3 in 1971-75 to 3.3 in 1999-2000 (National Strategy for Maternal Health, 2001).

With the current ratio of 3 maternal death per 1000 live births, it is about 100 times higher than that in the developed countries. The major causes of maternal death are post-partum hemorrhage, eclampsia, complications of abortion, concomitant medical causes, obstructed labour, and post-partum sepsis and violence. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that thousands of maternal deaths which occur every year in the countries of South Asia including Bangladesh, 14% of them are due to abortion (WHO, 1994).