She is the All-American big sister, oldest of eight children who went to the big city and started a career, always in control of life. She is 28 but looks younger in her red plaid wool skirt and white sweater as she waits for the abortion doctor.

"This has taken an emotional toll, I tell you. I haven't been able to sleep for six weeks," she said. "This is really out of character for me, a real fluke. I know I'm not going to be playing any kind of sexual games for a long time. I was always Betty, the responsible. I've fallen off the pedestal."

Of course, she told them all, her parents and each of her seven brothers and sisters. Hers is that kind of family. Everyone chipped in for her trip to the Routh Street Women's Clinic in Dallas.

He is a college professor, a divorced man, fun, intelligent but volatile and given to violent outbursts, the kind of man a woman could come to fear. The professor wanted a baby; she did not want the professor.

"I'd enjoy a child. I look at my two nieces, and I love them," she said. "My degree is in special education, and I love children. I'd excel in being a mother, even without a husband. But a child is something special. You want everything to be right. It isn't, not for me, not this time."

She is taken into an examination room where Dr. Barry Glick aborts her 8-week-old fetus. Glick, 40, later tells a visitor that abortion was rarely mentioned during his years in medical school. Now, he performs 1,500 abortions annually.

In the waiting room, Betty is slightly pale. "Physically, I feel a little shaky. Emotionally, I feel a little down," she said. "But I feel good about it. Right now this is the best route I could take for my situation, my life style. I don't know how I'll feel in two months."