¬†The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has been denied leave to appeal in its challenge to the sale of morning-after pills without a doctor's prescription. The court ruled today that it must pay the legal costs of the government and those of Schering, the pills' British distributor. Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, said: "We are disappointed with the decision of the court today. The issues which were raised were of the utmost importance for women and for the unborn child. We will now consider seeking permission to appeal directly from the court of appeal. "We are also disappointed with the decision on costs. The judgement will have a chilling effect on public interest groups that seek to challenge the government and wealthy organisations. The judgement sends the signal to government and others with power and influence that they can continue to victimise the voiceless and defenceless unborn child ≠ the most vulnerable member of society."