Tesco has defended its decision to provide teenagers the morning after pill for free to under 20s from its Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon in-store pharmacies. Anti-abortion pressure groups had criticised the move, but the multiple said the initiative followed a request from Avon NHS Health Authority as part of a government scheme to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Tesco said pharmacies in Sainsbury's and Boots were also involved in similar pilot schemes in nearby areas. A Tesco spokeswoman stressed: "We take our responsibilities to customers very seriously and our pharmacists have been specially trained to carry out this work. "Applicants for this form of contraception must take part in a detailed interview and it is only when they meet the necessary criteria that medication will be issued. "The whole process is controlled by strict protocols devised by the Medicines Control Agency." Tesco said the pharmacies take part in the scheme were chosen because of opening times and accessibility to large numbers of customers. {{NEWS }}