New York Assemblywoman says nonprofit’s health-care programs are invaluable and defunding efforts hurt women.

The recent release of heavily-edited videos and the shutdown of the Planned Parenthood website is part of an ongoing three-year smear campaign orchestrated by extreme anti-abortion groups and others whose goal is to prevent women from accessing the health care they need. No matter one’s views on abortion, the fact remains that Planned Parenthood does more to prevent unintended pregnancies than any other organization in the country, so it is confusing that even U.S. Senate Leadership is compelled to go after this critically important organization.

Attacking and attempting to defund Planned Parenthood is an attack on women from all walks of life including lower income women, women who want to plan the timing of their families and, yes, even men who want to stay healthy, as well as young adults and their parents or caregivers who have come to rely on Planned Parenthood for comprehensive sex education.

Planned Parenthood has always had high standards for all of its programs and procedures, including lifesaving tissue donation. Given that this invaluable program is legal and has also been conducted by other institutions for many years, one fact is clear: This campaign is nothing more than another attack on one of the largest providers of high-quality, affordable health care to women. For Senate Leadership to even consider defunding Planned Parenthood means they have either been duped by this deceitful group into believing the distortions that the facts just don’t bear out or they clearly intend to continue opposing a woman’s basic right to make her own, personal health-care decisions. I stand firmly in support of Planned Parenthood as it continues to provide professional, compassionate care to all women.

The writer, a Suffern resident, is a member of the New York State Assembly. The Democrat represents the 97th Assembly District.