This article discusses a clinical trial with the abortifacient agent ethacridine lactate as it was used for midtrimester abortion in Calcutta during the period January-July 1980. Results are then compared with intraamniotic hypertonic saline. 130 subjects were divided into 2 groups--Group 1 (60 women) were terminated with ethacridine lactate and group 2 (70 women) were terminated with saline. In cases where the patient complained of pain, analgesia was administered. In both groups, the largest concentration of women fell in the age groups 16-20 and 21-25. Similarly, single women were the largest representation in both groups although the saline group included more widows. Ethacridine lactate can be administered earlier in the 2nd trimester than saline. With it, expulsion occurred within 36 hours in 56.6% of the cases as compared with 22.9% in group 2. Both groups required the same amount of assistance with oxytocin. In group 1, there were only 3 cases (5%) of minor complications whereas in group 2, 19 cases (27.1%) developed complications. This alone strongly recommends ethacridine lactate as the preferred abortifacient. The success rate was 98%. Thus, ethacridine lactate appears to be a safe and effective agent for pregnancy termination during the 2nd trimester.