As the candidates for the presidency of Brazil race to the wire before the run-off election of Oct. 31, abortion has become a major campaign issue.
The Catholic church and the evangelical churches, through their basic principles of defense of life, have become major players, but with quite different playbooks. Like the Brazilian team in soccer’s recent World Cup, not all the players are on the same page. Nor are their coaches.
The candidates were running a seemingly predictable campaign till the last weeks before the Oct. 3 election.
Dilma Rousseff -- the anointed protégé of Luis Inacio Lula da Silva ,"Lula", the two term president from the Worker's Party -- was expected to win the required 50 percent of the vote with no need of a run-off. But rumors had begun to circulate that she, and her party, would seek to legalize abortion.
The election issues had been much more about the success of the Workers' Party administration in raising 21 million people out of poverty in the last eight years and bringing Brazil into a position of leadership in Latin America and in the world.