Veil, Simone, 1927–, French politician, b. Simone Jacob. Interned in Nazi concentration camps during World War II because she was Jewish, she became a lawyer and government official. She served (1974–79) as minister of health under French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, securing the passage of a liberalized abortion law in 1974. Elected to the European Parliament in 1979, 1984, and 1989, she served (1979–82) as its first popularly elected president. From 1993 to 1995 she was French health and social and urban affairs minister, and from 1998 to 2007 she served on the French Constitutional Council.