Pioneer of natural fertility regulation dies

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MANILA, Feb. 17, 2013—Dr. Evelyn Livingston Billings, who together with husband Dr. John Billings founded the method of natural fertility regulation which bears their name, died Saturday after a short illness. She was 95.

For half a century, the couple traveled the world – around 100 countries, some of them repeatedly – teaching and promoting what is called the Billings Ovulation Method (BOM) , a method of natural family planning, in faithfulness to Pope Paul VI’s call to “men (and women) of science (and) physicians (to) be obedient to the Lord’s call and to act as faithful interpreters of His plan.”

Billings was the author of the best-selling non-fiction book The Billings Method, first published in 1980. The book was reprinted 16 times with seven new or revised editions. The latest completely revised edition was published in 2011. Access to this book, published in 22 languages, made BOM a household name and gave hope to millions of couples throughout the world. .

Personal friend of three Popes, in 2003 Billings was made a Dame Commander of St. Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II and was an active member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. She was recognized with Honorary Doctorates from universities around the world including an Honoris Causa Degree from Tor Vergata University in Rome in 2005.

In 2002, Drs. John and Evelyn Billings were jointly declared International Catholic Physicians of the Year by the International Catholic Federation of Medical Associations.

Couples in more than 100 countries bear testament to the wonderful work of this selfless woman and her husband. In China alone, where they trained thousands to teach their Method, a substantial drop in the abortion rate has been attributed to their work.

Billings obtained her medical degree from the University of Melbourne and studied pediatrics as a post-graduate in London, afterwards undertaking pediatric practice in Melbourne.

Later she became a Senior Demonstrator in Embryology and Histology within the Department of Anatomy of the University of Melbourne and Assistant Physician to the Department of Community Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. Billings also became Consultant Physician to the Ovulation Method Research and Reference Centre of Australia Ltd (trading as Billings LIFE) and a founding member of the World Organisation Ovulation Method Billings (WOOMB) International Ltd.

She is survived by 8 of her 9 children, 39 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren. (CBCP for Life)

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