Anti-abortion extremist gets 10 years for Planned Parenthood murder plot

Ralph Lang was arrested in 2011 for planning "to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies"

By Katie McDonough
Published August 2, 2013 9:35PM (EDT)
Anti-abortion activists                                      (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Anti-abortion activists (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

A 65-year-old Wisconsin man was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison for a 2011 plot to murder a physician at a Madison Planned Parenthood clinic, which was disrupted after Ralph Lang accidentally discharged his gun inside a motel room and confessed his plan to police who arrived on the scene.

Lang told police he intended "to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies," and stated during his trial that he wished he had a machine gun to “mow down” the staff at the clinic.

More from the Wisconsin State Journal:

Lang ... declined to make a statement in court before McNamara sentenced him -- other than to tell McNamara that he was looking “mighty fine” -- saying that he was "still spiritually struggling." Lang complimented McNamara for looking as though he had gotten some sun, which Lang said he wished he could get out and do.

[Circuit Judge Nicholas] McNamara responded that he had gotten sun coaching his son’s baseball team, and said Lang probably wasn’t thinking about the lives of people at the Planned Parenthood clinic, who might also have children, when he prepared to kill an abortion doctor at the clinic.

“That lack of consideration is what makes you dangerous,” McNamara said.

"You have made choices that now require you to be out of society, out of the community," McNamara added. "You have forfeited your right to live among us."

Lang was also given 10 years of extended supervision following his release.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Abortion Abortion Rights Anti-abortion Extremism Crime Extremists Murder Violence