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Abstract

This case tells the 1974 story of a French health minister, Simone Veil, and her ultimately successful effort to liberalize France''s abortion law. It serves as a vehicle for exploring leadership in a legislative setting, in this instance a legislature in which the government of which Veil herself is a part presents what appears to be overwhelming opposition to her initiative. The case also explores the relationship between public and private values, and between the personal and political, including the strategic impact of Veil''s own past - in particular, being a survivor of Nazi concentration camps - in the context of a bitter debate in which abortion opponents characterized widespread use of the procedure as its own kind of Holocaust.

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Abstract

This case tells the 1974 story of a French health minister, Simone Veil, and her ultimately successful effort to liberalize France''s abortion law. It serves as a vehicle for exploring leadership in a legislative setting, in this instance a legislature in which the government of which Veil herself is a part presents what appears to be overwhelming opposition to her initiative. The case also explores the relationship between public and private values, and between the personal and political, including the strategic impact of Veil''s own past - in particular, being a survivor of Nazi concentration camps - in the context of a bitter debate in which abortion opponents characterized widespread use of the procedure as its own kind of Holocaust.

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