British pro-life groups called for a boycott of Sainsbury's today, after it emerged that the supermarket giant is still giving the morning-after pill to under-16 year old girls. Nuala Scarisbrick, Trustee of LIFE, said: "We are amazed that, a month after Tesco abandoned their ill-advised trial, Sainsbury's is still handing out the dangerous morning-after pill to girls under 16. "The morning-after pill increases the amount of under-age sex, leading to even more pregnancies, abortion and sexually-transmitted infections. Giving it out free is like trying to put out a fire with petrol. "The chairman of Sainsbury's talks about offering choice to customers. Most under-age sex is not by choice but by pressure and exploitation, usually by older males on young and vulnerable girls. The results are misery and a danger to the young person's health. Sainsbury's have reduced the choice of young girls being pressured into sex - they have one less excuse, fear of pregnancy, to refuse unwanted advances - and they have reduced the ability of caring parents to protect their children by making these pills available without parental consent or knowledge. "Under-age sex is illegal. The law exists to protect young girls from sexual exploitation by older men. Does Sainsbury's want to promote it? "LIFE calls on all its members, their families, friends and anyone concerned to boycott Sainsbury's and to let their local store manager know why - politely. We have a choice too, and it will not be Sainsbury's until they abandon this scheme!" Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: "We were initially alerted to Sainsbury's involvement in schemes like this some months ago. However, we focused attention on their bigger rival, Tesco, who were doing the same thing. Tesco have now said that they will not provide the drug freely to under-16s, and Sainsbury's decision to promote this policy appears to be a deliberately provocative move. "We will be making strong representations to them to desist. This policy undermines the vast majority of decent parents who want to care for their teenage children, as well as showing utter indifference to early human life in the womb. "One of the ways in which the morning-after pill works is by preventing a newly conceived unborn child from implanting in his or her mother's womb. When this happens, it causes an abortion. If this were not reason enough for Sainsbury's to take no part in this government-sponsored scheme, then they should also be aware that the morning-after pill may endanger women's health and can make girls vulnerable to abuse by older men. "We shall be mounting a full-scale campaign against the provision of morning-after pills in Sainsbury's, just as we did successfully with Tesco." A spokesman for Sainsbury's confirmed yesterday that five stores in South Wales, Greater Manchester and Bristol have entered into partnerships with local health authorities to make the morning-after pill available free of charge to teenagers, including those under 16. The news came just one month after Tesco bowed to pressure from its customers and abandoned its involvement in the scheme.
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