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Rosalind McCarthy, a spoiled, self-centered teenager, returns from a Catholic boarding school to her home on New York's upscale Sutton Place for Christmas vacation. Fearing that she is pregnant, Rosalind turns to her neighbor and childhood friend, Andy Morrison, for help, although at first she pretends that it is a friend who is "in trouble." Andy, who is still a virgin and has always loved Rosalind, is dismayed by her condition but helps her approach a friendly pharmacist, Mr. Katchaturian, who is able to confirm her pregnancy. Determined to rid herself of the unwanted baby, Rosalind tries several old wives' tale remedies, such as jumping from ledges, drinking castor oil and douching with soda pop, but nothing works. Andy finds out that a local hospital offers safe and affordable abortions, but when the waiting list proves to be too long, as Rosalind is to leave soon with her parents on a vacation to Acapulco, the teenagers are stymied. After Andy learns about a private but expensive clinic, he presses Rosalind to reveal the father's identity. She confesses that she spent one afternoon making love with Rick, the gigolo boyfriend of a classmate's mother, even though it turned out to be an unpleasant experience. Andy approaches Rick, asking him for money for the abortion, but the callous Rick refuses to help. Andy, whose frantic actions have aroused the suspicions of his devoted but pragmatic housekeeper, Modesta, then pawns his beloved chemistry set, but on his way home, he is mugged and beaten. Modesta gives Andy what little money she has, but, needing more, Andy turns to Rosalind's father Frank, a former bricklayer who has earned a fortune as a contractor. Although Rosalind's mother Betty enjoys their new wealth and avidly pursues social distinction, Frank is ambivalent about their lifestyle and drinks to ease his uncertainties. Having always regarded Andy as a son, Frank is at first proud when Andy confides that he needs money to help a friend get an abortion. When he realizes that the girl in question is Rosalind, however, Frank assumes that Andy is responsible and is crestfallen. After getting the name of a private abortionist from his mistress, Frank gives Andy the necessary funds, then orders him never to come to their home again. Soon after, Andy escorts Rosalind to the physician, Dr. Hargrave, and is stunned by her lack of emotion over the procedure. When they return home, Rosalind casually offers Andy sex as thanks for his help, but Andy, matured and toughened by the ordeal, tells Rosalind that he loves her, then walks away.