Although abortion services in India were liberalized more than three decades ago, access to safe services remains limited for the vast majority of women. This paper synthesises recent evidence on the induced abortion scen ario in India, and explores some of the factors why women continue to seek and receive abortion services from unqualified providers. The review highlights that a host of factors, notably lack of awareness of the legality of abortion services; limited access to safe services; poor quality of services; and gender roles and norms, lead women to seek services from untrained providers. In the Indian context, where the preference for sons is particularly strong, the practice of secondtrimester sex-selective abortions is becoming widespread, and thereby also placing women at risk of undergoing unsafe abortion. The introduction of new technologies and legislation is expected to make safe abortion services more accessible. However, the challenge remains in effectively implementing these measures. The paper concludes with suggestions for areas that need further programme and research attention.