Simone Veil

Simone Veil ( Nice , 13 of July of 1927 ) lawyer and political French , surviving the Holocaust , as Minister of Health in the government of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing , enacted the law called Act Veil by which decriminalized abortion in France . She was the first woman to preside over the European Parliament of Strasbourg until 1982 . He held several ministerial positions in the government of Édouard Balladur and since 1998 is a member of the Constitutional Council of France .


Born on 13 of July of 1927 in Nice , Alpes – Maritimes , with the name of Simone Annie Jacob , daughter of an architect Jew . In March 1944 he was deported with his family, the concentration camp Nazi Auschwitz , where he will remain until his release on 27 of January of 1945 . She and her two sisters, Milou and Denise (a tough woman who was deported to Ravensbrück ), were the only survivors of her family. His mother died of typhus in Auschwitz and his brother and father were killed in Lithuania .

Having obtained the Bachiller in 1943 , before being deported, it studies law and political sciences , where it finds its husband, Antoine Veil, with whom it contracts marriage 26 of October of 1946 and with which it had 3 children.

Political life

Between 1974 and 1979 she was appointed Minister of Health, Social Security and Family in the governments of Prime Ministers Jacques Chirac and Raymond Barre . In this position it approves controversial laws like the access to the contraceptives in 1974 and the legalization of the abortion in 1975 .

In 1979 she was chosen President of the European Parliament after the first elections by universal suffrage to the European Parliament. He holds this position until 1982 . In 1981 she was awarded the Charlemagne International Prize in favor of the European Union .

After many years in the service of the European Parliament , in 1993 returns to the French policy to be named Minister of Health and Social Affairs during the mandate of Prime Minister Édouard Balladur , position in which it continues until 1995 . In 1998 she was appointed member of the Constitutional Council of France, a post that lasts for 9 years, that is until 2007 .

On the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp in 2005 , Veil returns to the camp for the first time to give a tribute to the victims and to denounce the horrors of war. That same year, the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation was awarded the defense of freedom, dignity of the person, human rights, justice, solidarity and the role of women in modern society . In 2008 she won the Carlos V Prize , awarded by the Fundación Academia Europea de Yuste in honor of “her acknowledged merits in the struggle for the advancement of women’s equality.”

The right to voluntary termination of pregnancy

Simone Veil is known internationally for the law promulgated since her ministry in 1975 that allowed the decriminalization of abortion in France . Since then, their positions and statements have been followed by both supporters and detractors of abortion regulation policies.

Among the latter, stand out the positions close to the Catholic Church and its related media as the Zenit news agency, declared a follower of its Social Doctrine 1 which included in an article of June 19, 2007 the criticism of Veil to the Alleged practice of illegal abortions in a clinic in Barcelona, ​​denounced by a report of the chain France 2 , in women from other European countries 2

However, it should be noted that Veil is not only criticized by the Catholic Church, but also by notables of the Jewish cult. This is how Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the Union of Orthodox Rabbis (composed of more than 1,000 rabbis) from the United States and Canada (235, East Broadway New York, NY 10002) expressed in 2005: On January 27, 2005, government officials and survivors of concentration camps around the world gathered at the famous site of the Auschwitz concentration camp to commemorate the 60th anniversary of their liberation. Ms Simone Veil, former Minister of Health in France, who was a Jewish intern at Auschwitz, must speak in that group. Mrs Veil is well known for bringing the legalization of abortion in France. By its activity in favor of the abortion has acted of way diametrically opposite to the doctrine of the Judaism. For that reason, it is totally inappropriate for Mrs. Veil to speak during the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz. And we raised a solemn protest about it. »


  1. Back to top↑ What is Zenit ?
  2. Back to top↑ , 19/6/2007, “The former minister who introduced abortion in France changes her mind”