A top United Kingdom aid official has reassured advocates that the Department for International Development remains a “loud and strong voice for universal access to sexual and reproductive health” services, including abortion, for women and girls in developing countries.

Speaking at the launch of a new report from the U.K. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health, which calls for the U.K. government to support safe abortion at home and abroad, international development minister Alistair Burt said:

DFID is absolutely clear that safe abortion is a crucial element of the full range of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights services.

He added that “this is not a reluctant position from DFID,” and that “we recognize that in the world where we’re operating — and where some women have no choices whatsoever and where some people would like to close down choices — safe abortion really matters and access to rights matters.”

Read the full article on UK aid support for abortion by Sophie Edwards at Devex International Development