Delegates at the United Nations Population Conference ended the confab by unanimously approving a 20-year plan to curb birth rates -- sort of. The lone dissenter, the Vatican's delegate, actually voted for the plan too, but Archbishop Renato Martino said he could not endorse parts of the plan that recognized "abortion as a dimension of population policy and primary health care." Says TIME Senior Writer Eugene Linden in Cairo: "Nobody here understands the Vatican's vote. There's no precedent for it." So why did the Holy See have a change of heart? "The anger and the ridicule among other delegates towards the Vatican was tremendous" when its representatives slowed down the conference over the issue of abortion, says Linden. "This is definitely a retreat on their part."