Simone Veil takes seat at Académie

Ms Veil has become only the sixth woman to enter the Académie Française.

1 April 2010

HOLOCAUST survivor, first president of the elected European Parliament and the person who helped legalise abortion in France, Simone Veil, has become only the sixth woman to enter the Académie Française.

A popular politician and authority on moral issues, Mrs Veil’s induction as an immortelle was witnessed by three presidents: Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy.

Born in 1927 in Nice, Mrs Veil was deported with her family to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her mother, father and brother died in the camps.

She was the first female health minister and pushed laws on contraception and then abortion. She was also the first female member of the Conseil Constitutionnel. She is France’s favourite woman according to a recent Ifop poll.

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