Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersClinton backs Georgia governor hopeful on eve of primary The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Frenzy over Kennedy retirement rumors | Trump challenges DOJ Bernie Sanders announces Senate reelection bid 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 McConnellSenators near deal on sexual harassment policy change Blankenship third-party bid worries Senate GOP Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' 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. 
 
His comments contrast with remarks from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton backs Georgia governor hopeful on eve of primary Pressure rising on GOP after Trump–DOJ fight’s latest turn Press: Why Trump should thank FBI MORE who told the New Hampshire Union Leader that “I have seen pictures from them and obviously find them disturbing." 
 
“Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions," she 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 Mason ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules 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."