BACKGROUND The objective of this study was to determine whether replacing the "routine" postoperative visit after surgical abortion with an "as indicated" visit is associated with an increase in the rates of either failed abortion (continuing pregnancy) or repeat abortion. METHODS We compared the rate of continuing pregnancy in 50,702 first-trimester surgical abortion patients who were offered routine postoperative visits in one time period (1/1/00-4/30/07) to the rate in 20,315 first-trimester surgical abortion patients from a later time period (5/1/07-12/31/09) in which routine postoperative visits had been discontinued. We also compared the rate of repeat abortion within 1 year of the initial procedure for both first- and second-trimester surgical abortion patients for the same time periods. RESULTS The rate of continuing pregnancy remained stable before and after routine visits were discontinued (39.4 per 100,000 first-trimester surgical abortions for each group).The rate of repeat abortion within 1 year after the initial procedure was lower after routine visits were discontinued (8.2%) than before routine visits were discontinued (8.7%), p=.007. CONCLUSION We conclude that elimination of the routine postoperative visit after a surgical abortion and the substitution of an "as indicated" postoperative visit are not associated with an increase in either continuing pregnancies or repeat abortion.