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Darling Wrong About When She Left Planned Parenthood Board

Darling claims she left organization before she was elected to Assembly, but records shows she served on the board of directors until five years after she was elected.

Despite Sen. Alberta Darling's claim that she left the board of directors at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin before she was elected to the State Assembly in 1990, a review of the organization's records shows she spent five years on the board after being elected.

And while Darling says she left the group when its focus "shifted" to abortion, Planned Parenthood actually began offering abortion services while she still was on the group's board.

Darling's statement was in response to a journalist's question during a . 

"I belonged to the Planned Parenthood board when I was a very young woman, before I entered public office," said Darling, a Republican who is facing Democrat Sandy Pasch in Tuesday's 8th Senate District recall election. "I joined that board because I was working on family planning and wanting children to be wanted, and I was working on teen pregnancy prevention.

"Then when Planned Parenthood – this was like 25, 30 years ago – when Planned Parenthood shifted its focus to abortion, I said, 'I can't be on this board, that's not why i joined,' and I got off. That was before I was in elected office," she said. "That was before I was a state rep."

Darling went on to say that while she opposed federal funding for the organization in the 2011-13 budget, she preserved 90 percent of the money by turning it into health block grants to be used on the county level. She said she opposed the federal funding because legislators had concerns about funding abortions.

"I definitely changed my opinion about Planned Parenthood myself 30 years ago because it seemed to me they were putting much more emphasis into abortion than into family planning and teen pregnancy prevention. So I got out," she said.

Records from Planned Parenthood show Darling was a member of the board from 1986 to 1995. Planned Parenthood provided Patch with annual reports from every year, with each report listing Darling as a member of the board.

Darling was elected to the state Assembly in 1990 and elected to the state Senate in 1992.

In a statement, Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, said the group's board decided in 1989 to begin providing abortion care in 1990.

"During the nearly 10 years that Darling served in this leadership capacity, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin was doing the same work we do now: providing high quality reproductive health care and accurate, honest community education about sexuality and reproductive health to those who are in need," Atkinson said. 

Atkinson questioned why Darling, a co-chair of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, would make an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood, which could lead to the closing of clinics across the state.

"Her amendment eliminated state support to nine health centers serving 12,000 patients in small communities like Kenosha, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and Wisconsin Rapids," Atkinson said in the statement. "The essential health care services provided at these health centers include life-saving cancer screenings, birth control and STD testing and treatment. Abortion care is not provided at these health centers."

Darling's campaign spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment on this story Thursday.

WisconsinEye, a non-profit organization that provides video coverage of state Capitol proceedings and other civic events, has full video of the forum, with the Planned Parenthood discussion beginning at the 36:30 mark.

Nate August 05, 2011 at 01:29 AM
Why should poor people have access to cheap birth control anyways??
Craig August 05, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Maybe Sandy wants food stamps to cover batteries too? Might as well throw in that his and hers kaboom gel too, after all she gave $800,000 worth of Viagra to MPS teachers with an average age of 35....tell me that was needed. There doesn't seem to be an inordinate amount of male teachers in MPS nicknamed shortie.
ike August 05, 2011 at 01:57 AM
Darling clearly supports abortions. Why would she stay on their board for 5 years if she was against them? Her financial supports don't support abortions; therefore, Darling pretends to be against abortions. Admirable? Not at all, more like cowardly.
Craig August 05, 2011 at 01:59 AM
@Nate: The Dems used cry that grannie has had to eat catfood to get by.... Cat food is more expensive per pound than Porterhouse Beef. I smell a subsidy!
Aldo Raine August 05, 2011 at 02:10 AM
BS in its purest form. She had to bail because the Right to Lie goons that control the GOP told it drop it or they'd drop her like they did with Mary Panzer. This is just one of her thick portfolio of lies, which were doled out by the dozens at the Rotary club debate Wednesday. I was sitting a few tables back at the and thought I'd be knocked over by her growing nose.
Craig August 05, 2011 at 02:27 AM
Raineman: The Goon squad is in controll of the GOP? I'm filing a grievance! uh oh, uh oh....(rain man)
Craig Johnson August 05, 2011 at 03:00 AM
Typical misinformation from a State Senator we can't trust: The tea party Darling.
Morninmist Same August 05, 2011 at 10:38 AM
Craig- I have flagged your comment as inappropriate. Grow up.
Aldo Raine August 05, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Craig, trying to decide if that statement is not clever or ignorant, or both.
John Parkes August 05, 2011 at 12:56 PM
So Darling was on the Planned Parenthood board of directors that decided Planned Parenthood should provide abortions in addition to all of the other women’s health care they provide. That must have been when Alberta could still act with a conscience before deciding to put on blinders and follow right wing republican marching orders. Those blinders are the reason she should be recalled.
Mira Bluesky August 05, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Another of Darling's "not meant to be a factual statement" reinvention of historical fact. I don't care if she sat on the Planned Parenthood board and then decided to get off of it for her own reasons. But why does she have to lie about it? Too bad for her there are still people who read and are interested in the facts. Seems the teapublicans, including those commenting here, are not the least bit bothered by lying politicians as long as they are THEIR lying politicians. The moral deficit is the one that will bring this country down, not the fiscal deficit.
Craig August 05, 2011 at 02:09 PM
@Rainman: When you finally decide if that statement is not clever or ignorant, or both- Maybe then you can share with the rest of us just one example of how Pasch would help fix our economin whoes? She has not given a SINGLE idea, but (much like you) critisizes the GOP. Are you trapped in a telephone booth?
Craig August 05, 2011 at 02:34 PM
@Mira: Can you remember when we had a 12" snowstorm in May? Don't look it up on the net- just estimate when it was. If you are wrong about the date- does that make you a liar? Alberta is no Spring Chicken, you can't expect her to remember exact dates and such- all this talk about her being pro abortion and lies to cover it up should suit you lefties well. The storm was in May of 1990- A LONG TIME AGO. Just like when Berta left PP- A LONG TIME AGO. In what year did Clinton legalize partial birth abortions? I can't remember exactly, but it was A LONG TIME AGO.
Carolo August 05, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Darling seems to have a problem keeping her stories straight.
Morninmist Same August 06, 2011 at 12:55 AM
http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/aug/05/alberta-darling/wisconsin-state-sen-alberta-darling-says-rep-sandy/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter DARLING HAS A 'PANTS ON FIRE' LIE ABOUT PASCH!!
recall alberta darling August 06, 2011 at 03:30 AM
"Wrong" is a euphemism for "LIES"! I guess it is hard to keep all her 'wrongs' straight these days... :D
kuroc1 August 07, 2011 at 12:24 PM
Hey Craig... Get your facts straight before you make stupid comments like Alberta... First of there NEVER was a "vote" for Viagra... It got pulled from negotiations BEFORE ANY VOTE.. 2ND: Pasch wasn't even in politics or the Legislature when this issue was wround... Typical Teabagger: Spreading BS all around..
Gordon E Lang August 11, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Who cares when see left. The important thing that she did.

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