When Etienne Baulieu, the scientist most closely associated with RU-486, visited Toronto on May 27, the welcoming committee organized by the Ontario Coalition of Abortion Clinics was overshadowed by the Grim Reaper and two dozen black robed, skeletal –masked mourners who followed bearing a coffin.
While funeral music played, several other pro-lifers distributed literature informing passersby that RU-486 kills babies and has killed at least one mother, while placing thousands of others at grave risk.
Following persistent allegations that RU-486 may cause cardio vascular complications and the documented death of a 31-year old French woman, criticism of Baulieu and Roussel Uclaf, the company which produces the pill, has increased. Baulieu has also been attacked over reports that, while acknowledging that RU-486 must be given under strictly supervised conditions. He is willing to see it dispensed, unsupervised, to women in the Third World.
The demonstrably small captive audience, whose members paid five dollars to hear Baulieu, was suddenly set free when a tape recorder which broadcast a message condemning RU-486 interrupted his speech.
When the media, mistaking the tape recorder for a bomb, rushed to exit the building and the audience began moving about in confusion, it appeared that Baulieu had lost the moment.