This week's editor
Mandela: the global icon
A heated debate over reforms to Brazil's outdated abortion laws has intensified across the country in 2007. The tensions were on show in August at the Brasilia gathering of the second Conference for Public Policies for Women (II CNPM), attended by 2.800 delegates representing all twenty-seven Brazilian states. As they waited for the result of a vote on a proposal to legalise abortion - beyond the current situation, where it is legal only if the pregnancy results from rape or when it puts the mother's life at risk - many of those present feared a coordinated attempt by anti-abortion groups to obstruct the voting process.