A Truly Inspirational Woman

Dr. Evelyn Billings. Credit: WOOMB International Ltd.

Melbourne, Australia, Feb 20, 2013 / 05:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Dr. Evelyn Billings, who helped develop a major method of natural fertility regulation, is being remembered after her recent death as a wonderful inspiration, said a doctor at the Natural Family Planning Center.

“That’s how we feel about her, she was wonderful, she inspired us, but she didn’t restrict us,” Dr. Hanna Klaus told CNA from her D.C. office on Feb. 19.

“She and John, her husband, wanted us to do everything that was within our creativity to promote the method, but it was always for the good of families.”

Billings died Feb. 16 at the age of 95 after a short illness. She was a pediatrician, and together with her husband Dr. John Billings, developed the Billings Ovulation Method of spacing births. Her work studying breastfeeding mothers and peri-menopausal women made a major contribution to the development of the method.

The Billings Method helps women identify their fertile state based on their menstrual cycle. Based on this knowledge of the fertile period, a couple can the try to either achieve or avoid a pregnancy without the use of artificial contraceptives that violate Catholic teaching.

The couple developed the method in 1953 after they had been asked to devise such a technique by the Catholic Marriage Guidance Bureau.

Evelyn Billings authored “The Billings Method” in 1980. It has been published in 22 languages and exposed natural family planning to millions of couples in some 120 countries.

She also travelled throughout the world promoting natural family planning, and a substantial drop in the abortion rate in China was attributed to her work and her husband’s, after they trained thousands there how to teach their method of regulating fertility. The Billings Method is the only natural fertility method allowed by the government there.

Billings was made a Dame Commander of Saint Gregory the Great by John Paul II in 2003. She was an active member of the Pontifical Academy for Life and a member of the Order of Australia.

“She and John had this gift of relating to everyone and getting them excited about possessing the gift of fertility and sexuality and managing it in a very human way. They themselves were very happily married,” Klaus said.

“They were just a wonderful team of physicians.”

Klaus recounted how the Billings decided to adopt a child, Kathryn, after Evelyn saw her at a nursery.

“They were just wonderful, sweet, holy people,” Klaus said, explaining that Billings was a warm, kind mother.

Billings is survived by eight of her nine children, as well as 39 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband John in 2007.

Rest in Peace


One Response to “A Truly Inspirational Woman”

  1. 1 john

    I can understand why someone might use the graphic images to waken up people to the reality of what is being done but I personally cannot bring myself to look at such images because it is like a spear through the heart.

    At times this world can seem quite a dark place and the one thing that reminds me that God is good is the sight of a little baby. Even when at times I can hardly raise a prayer, which is often these days, I thank God for the joy and light that little babies bring to the world. It reminds me of innocence and what I would like to be. Jesus really cared and said “unless you become like little children you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven” and as I get older that saying resonates so much I find it hard to put it into words.

    At times I have doubts about free-will and how anybody could ever bring them self to harm a little one in it’s mothers wombs. I think it is because people in trouble cling to the untruth that this is not a child and that is why images are important, but for me its the kind that evokes a sense of awe, and in that awe hope.

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