Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders fight MORE (I-Vt.) on Wednesday accused congressional Republicans of falling in with a "long-term smear campaign" to defund Planned Parenthood.

"The attempt by Senate Republicans to cut off support for Planned Parenthood is an attack on women’s health," Sanders said in a statement. "The current attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies."

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The comments from Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Ky.) fast-tracked legislation to defund the agency earlier Wednesday.
 
Republicans rolled out a new proposal on Tuesday that cuts off federal funding for the organization and redirects it to other women's health organizations. 
 
The organization is back in Republicans' crosshairs after a third in a series of videos was released Tuesday, appearing to show a Planned Parenthood official in Colorado negotiating with someone posing as a buyer of fetal tissue. 
 
But Sanders defended the group, suggesting that most of the federal funding that goes toward the organization comes from Medicaid reimbursements. 
 
"Cutting that funding will be devastating to the health needs of millions of women who desperately need the quality services Planned Parenthood provides," he added. 
 
 
Senate Democrats are suggesting that they'll block the legislation keeping it from getting the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle. 
 
Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe Memo: Trump pulls off a stone-cold stunner The Memo: Ending DACA a risky move for Trump Manchin pressed from both sides in reelection fight MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday called the congressional push to defund the group "an attack on women's health," adding that Republicans are focusing on "some right wing crazy deal."