“Wake Turbulence” of a Different Kind

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. This latest installment in our year-long “Roe at 40” series probed a very important barrier breached by the battering ram of legalized abortion. This story from the December 2001, edition of National Right to Life News is an example of some of the best writing that has appeared in NRL News going all the way back to 1973. I hope you will share it with your friends using your social networks.

WaketurbulenceAs if there weren’t already enough heartache and misery, just a month after the September 11 terrorist attack, American Airlines Flight 587 crashed into a heavily populated section of the New York City borough of Queens. Investigations are unbelievably meticulous, so even now conclusions are few and far between.

But there is much evidence to suggest that “wake turbulence” played a major role in the November 13 crash that claimed at least 265 lives. Wake turbulence is the technical term for the “invisible, tornado-like spiral of moving air left behind by a plane’s wingtips.”

Almost immediately we learned that a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 had taken off just two minutes and 20 seconds before Flight 587. According to data from the plane’s flight data recorder, 587 encountered turbulence twice soon after takeoff. Within a matter of seconds after hitting the second wake, the American Airlines plane began banking hard with its left wing down, and then dove into the ground.

Consider this: no sooner had I read an account of the tragedy than a quick perusal of the web brought me to a ghastly story that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Montgomery County prosecutors had just changed a third-degree murder charge against Henry C. Hohberger III to a first-degree murder charge in the death of his seven-day-old baby daughter, Nicole.

The Inquirer said, according to police reports, that prosecutors “raised charges against [Hohberger] accused of killing his infant daughter to first-degree murder after the mother told police he had repeatedly tried to get her to have an abortion.

The child died from massive injuries, according to the report by Bennett Preston of the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, who ruled the child’s death a homicide. According to the Inquirer,

“Among her injuries were four broken ribs that were healing. [Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce] Castor said that he could not say for sure when those injuries were inflicted. Nicole also had 11 newly broken ribs, two fractures to her skull, and multiple hemorrhages to her head and eyes, Preston’s report stated.”

Hohberger repeatedly pressed his girlfriend, Janet Grant, to have an abortion, the police told the newspaper. He’d scheduled four abortion appointments for Grant. Three times he took her personally, the Inquirer reported, and the fourth time he arranged for a limousine to pick Grant up. But according to the Inquirer,

“Each time, she said, she found herself unable to go through with the procedure. Police said that Beth Hohberger, his ex-wife and the mother of their 5-year-old daughter, Lauren, told them he did not want Grant to have her baby and that he felt `trapped’ by the pregnancy. According to police, Hohberger told his ex-wife that he had said to a maternity nurse: ‘You don’t understand, I already have a daughter! It’s a boy. It’s supposed to be a damn boy.’ ”

The charges were upped, Castor told the Inquirer, because of Hohberger’s repeated efforts to have the child aborted and the length of time between the alleged beating and the time he brought Grant to Abington Memorial Hospital.

Patience and non-violence towards children can be likened to the tail fin and rudder that broke off from Flight 587. They stabilize our behavior toward the little one and enable us to control our attitudinal turns.

But customary societal prohibitions against brutalizing children are constantly buffeted by abortion’s powerful vortex. As a consequence, in some cases, these prohibitions are cleanly shorn off, leading to utter disaster.

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Abortion proponents loathe these kinds of analyses. There is no connection to child murder, they vehemently insist, “just because” a woman exercises her “right to choose.”

But there is, of course. Until the legal slaughter of unborn children has run its course, there will be more and more children beaten to death, more and more newborns dropped in garbage disposals, more and more boyfriends who “freak out” (as Hohberger allegedly did, according to a longtime friend) by a woman’s repeated refusals to have an abortion.

Abortion supporters put on the whole armor of rationalizations to protect themselves from this disturbing truth. They refuse to see that the mentality that “justifies” a parent killing a child inside the womb is first cousin to the rage that results in the death of a child outside her mother’s body–a testimony to the power of ideology to disguise even the most self-evident of truths.

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