Europe

Simone Veil, leading French feminist politician, dies at 89

Simone Veil, a French survivor of Nazi death camps and prominent proponent of Europe's integration who spearheaded abortion rights as one of France's most prominent woman politicians, has died. She was 89.

The office of her son Jean Veil said Friday that Simone Veil died, without providing further information. No information was immediately available about memorial ceremonies.

One of France's most widely respected politicians on both sides of the political spectrum, Veil was a centrist who was president of the European Parliament and a French Cabinet minister.

Veil said her it was her experiences in the Nazi concentration camps that made her a firm believer in the unification of Europe.

She was an avowed feminist, and France's abortion rights law is still known four decades later as the "Loi Veil."