The Department of Nutrition and Health Science was pleased to bring global reproductive justice expert Dr. Deborah Billings to campus, as the 2016 McGovern Lecture honoree.

Dr. Deborah Billings at the lecturn, and accepting her award from Dr. Marty Wood.

Deborah Billings, PhD, Director of Choose Well, located in Columbia, South Carolina.  Dr. Billings has dedicated her career to increasing people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has worked as a consultant to various global organizations including the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Oak Foundation, UN Women, and UNFPA. Following two decades of research and activism in Latin America and Africa to improve policies, health systems and services, Dr. Billings brings her unique skill set to an initiative to improve contraceptive access throughout South Carolina, supported by the New Morning Foundation.

This year the department hosted two events with Dr. Billings, the first was screening a documentary, she produced, called Las Libres: The Story Continues, a powerful story of Mexican women imprisoned for abortion and miscarriage for 25 to 30 years under the criminal charges of murdering a blood relative. Las Libres is the non-profit organization fighting for their freedom. If you’re interested in learning more, you can view the trailer for the film here.

The John P. McGovern Lecture, was held on night two of Dr. Billing’s visit had a record standing room only crowd packed into the ballroom for her lecture titled, “Reproductive Justice: Systemic Movement toward Genuine Contraceptive Access. Awareness is not enough.” If you missed this lecture, it is available to watch at the link below.

 2016 McGovern Lecture

Any questions or concerns, please contact Michelle Jones