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INTEGRATION. 1991 Sep; (29):8-15.This article describes the urgent need for modern family planning (FP) services and supplies in the Soviet Union, and presents the nation's high induced abortion rate as one of its most serious medical and social problems. With more than 6 million legal abortions per year, and another estimated 6 million performed illegally, the problem of induced abortion is placed on par with heart disease and cancer in the Soviet Union. Induced abortion is the primary method of birth control, responsible for terminating 2 out of 3 pregnancies. Many abortion seekers, especially those employing illegal services, suffer complications resulting in loss of ability to work or even death. The maternal mortality rate for 1988 was 43.0/10,000. Efforts to decrease the level of abortion have increased during reconstruction, and have been witness to a decline in the number of abortions by 866,000 over the period 1985-1988. Contributory factors behind this decline, as well as the decrease of the abortion ratio, are an increased contraceptive prevalence level totalling 13.7% of reproductive-age women, stabilization of the birth rate at a low level, a smaller proportion of reproductive-age women in the population, and rate reporting changes. Nonetheless, inadequate family planning services prevail in the Soviet Union. Instead of focusing upon abortion and contraception, services focus upon diagnosing and treating infertility, and offer neither FP information nor services for premarital youths. Moreover, contraceptive supplies suffer serious, ongoing shortages. Research is needed on the social, demographic, medical, and biological aspects of reproductive behavior in the Soviet Union. Regional differences, abortion law, public opinion on illegitimate pregnancy, abortion methods, health personnel training, and maternal and child health are also discussed.