Objective To determine whether having had one or more induced abortions increases a woman's risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. Methods We conducted a case-control study of all women admitted to a major metropolitan hospital in Georgia with a surgical diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy during the period of October 1988 to August 1990. Controls were randomly selected from women seeking an induced abortion or delivering an infant at the same hospital. After exclusions, this analysis included 182 cases and 1056 controls. Stratified analysis and unconditional logistic regression were used to control for confounding and to estimate the relative risks. Results Approximately 90% of cases and controls were non-Hispanic, black women; 34% of the cases and 36% of the controls reported a history of induced abortion. The crude odds ratio for having an ectopic pregnancy associated with a history of induced abortion was 0.9 (95% confidence interval 0.6,1.3). The odds ratio remained the same after adjusting for selected confounding variables and stratifying by the number of induced abortions, gestational age at the time of abortion, place where the abortion was performed, and the woman's report of medical complications of the abortion. Conclusion We found no evidence that having one or more induced abortions increases a woman's risk of having an ectopic pregnancy.