Factors that increase reproductive risks are examined: maternal age at pregnancy, parity, pregnancy intervals, and abortion. Comparing maternal mortality by age in 3 countries in 1981, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, and England, rates were equal and the lowest were among 20-30 year olds. In another study by the Ministry of Health for Brazil in 1986, Brazil had an infant mortality rate of 70/100,000, 10 times greater that Australia, Scotland, and Sweden, and 5 times greater than the US. 42.8% of those newborns had mothers less than 20 or more than 30 years old. Mother's parity also influenced child mortality. In Recife, Brazil, the probability of death for the 1st child was 13.7%, increasing to 50% for the 5th child. Another problem endemic to Brazil is abortion. In 1986, over 84 thousand complicated abortions were treated by INAMPS, the national health institution. The data shows the importance and need of family planning for health promotion and welfare of the maternal/child population in Brazil.