objectives: calculate selected indicators for the prenatal care provided to pregnant women by public healthcare services in salvador, bahia, brazil. methods: this quantitative study, carried out in the city of salvador used records of prenatal care from those health units integrating the brazilian prenatal and birth humanization program (bpbhp), kept records from their pregnant subjects and contributed regularly with information to the sisprenatal database in 2002. data from the municipal health department's regulation and assessment coordination (reference year = 2002) were analyzed by means of a statistical software and presented in simple frequencies. results: the indicators under investigation determined prenatal care coverage of 14.2% in the health clinics, totaling 6044 women. of these 37.8% were registered in the bpbhp. anti- tetanus vaccine or additional doses were given to 33.5% of the subjects in the bpbhp and hiv testing was performed in 17.6%. conclusions: during 2002, it was determined that the bpbhp in salvador provided low coverage for prenatal care, anti-tetanus vaccination and anti-hiv testing. although bpbhp has the objective of maternal and neonatal mortality reduction, it failed to cover the major cause of maternal death in salvador: abortion.