In Turkey, there is an unmet need for induced abortion services provided by the public health services, especially in rural and semi-urban areas. The objective of this clinical study was to show that early medical abortion could be introduced safely in Turkey to improve women's access to services. In the study, women aged 18-49 up to 56 days of pregnancy were offered a choice between medical abortion with 200mg mifepristone followed by 400mcg oral misoprostol and MVA with local anaesthesia. 209 chose medical and 149 surgical abortion. Data from an additional 112 women were collected to obtain a similar number of surgical abortion cases. Womens preference for and satisfaction with the chosen method, side effects and complications up to the 14-day follow-up visit were recorded. 75% of women who chose medical abortion opted for home use of misoprostol. Pain with medical abortion on average lasted 3.6 +/- 3.0 days and with surgical abortion 3.7 +/- 2.9 days. 90% of women who had medical abortion said they would prefer it again compared to 70% of those having surgical abortion. There were 1.4% ongoing pregnancies in the medical abortion group and none in the surgical group. Provider training and familiarity with medical abortion are crucial. The high incomplete abortion rate indicates that the dose and regimen of misoprostol should be reconsidered. The findings support the introduction of early medical abortion in Turkey (c) 2005 Reproductive Health Matters. All rights reserved.