Case #1716.0

Leadership in Moral Conflict Simone Veil and Abortion Reform in France

Publication Date: April 1, 2003
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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.

Learning Objectives:
The case materials are appropriate for courses or training programs on Leadership, Conflict/Negotiation, or Gender/Identity Politics. The case is an effective vehicle for teaching and discussion about the challenges of leadership and coalition building in moral conflicts.



Other Details

Case Authors:
Vianney Basse and Anne Hennon
Faculty Lead:
Hannah Riley Bowles
Pages (incl. exhibits):