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Feds ponder federal count in abortion plot

Feds ponder federal count in abortion plot

By Erik Bilstad. CREATED May 27, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say they may pursue a felony charge against a Marshfield man accused of plotting to kill Madison abortion providers.

They charged 63-year-old Ralph Lang on Thursday with a misdemeanor count of attempting to injure or intimate a person who provides reproductive health services. U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil says he's considering pursuing a felony charge under a section of U.S. code that bars anyone from threatening or intimidating anyone who is participating in or receiving benefits from a federally funded program.

Lang is accused of planning to shoot abortion providers at Planned Parenthood's Madison clinic. The facility receives a mix of state and federal funding for women's health services.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Oppeneer on Friday ordered Lang detained pending a hearing. His attorney declined comment.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)