Another World AIDS Day passed on December 1. Some of you may be wondering what on earth can the Billings Ovulation Method® (BOM) do to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS?
Dr John J Billings alluded to how the Method could help in ‘The Story of God’s Providence’ paper given at a BOM National Conference in April 2000: “Dr Sr Leonie McSweeney in Nigeria is telling us how her active teaching program strongly implemented by repeated courses on the national television circuit have established large numbers of couples on the method. The resulting influence upon the conjugal relationship is demonstrably protecting this group of couples from the high rate of infection with the AIDS virus evident within the wider community.”
The “demonstrable” protection he spoke of was based on the beauty of the BOM in assisting couples in their relationships. Fidelity is key to lowering the AIDS epidemic.
On the Natural Womanhood website (https://naturalwomanhood.org) this important factor is examined. “Fertility awareness and natural family planning increase the likelihood parents will stay together and be close to their children. Parents who use natural family planning are much less likely to divorce…”
“A study by University of Chicago Professor Dr Robert Lerner with over 500 individuals using natural family planning showed a divorce rate of 0.5 %. Another study in Austria with 332 men and 479 women aged 40–49 reported a divorce rate of 3%. While these studies are limited in scope, the difference in rates with the general population, even compared to divorce rates among people of faith, is so large that there is no question about the advantage brought by these methods.”
“Similar findings were found in a 2004 Marquette University study showing that the practice of natural family planning improved communication, mutual respect and mutual ownership of the responsibility of family planning. Well understood natural family planning goes deep in creating solid families.”
The BOM continues to help couples improve their communication, cooperation and generosity within their conjugal relationships. Missionary nuns in Nigeria and elsewhere have done and continue to do yeoman service in teaching the BOM to women and couples. Some of these nuns even taught priests and seminarians and asked them to teach their flock when needed! In India, Mother Teresa along with some of her sisters taught the BOM successfully in the slums.
The BOM has also contributed to dealing with the issues of poverty and domestic/gender-based sexual violence. How? The following are two stories from Dr John J Billings: “Many of you have heard many times the story of Teresa, a wonderful woman living in poverty in one of the Pacific Islands, struggling with problems of an alcoholic husband and the needs of their 12 children.
“One day a missionary nun taught her the Ovulation Method. Teresa then began to hide in the village each evening during the fertile time after putting the youngest children down to sleep before her husband returned home, drunk as usual. She returned each morning to tell him what she had done and why she had done it.
“When days of infertility returned she generously demonstrated her love for him in every possible way. We knew that family over many years. The husband became teetotal and secured a much higher level of employment, so that peace and happiness returned to the family.”
“There was a man in Kenya who said, ‘I used to beat my wife, but when we learned this method I came to understand that she is a wonderful creature and now I love her. And something wonderful is now happening to my country’.”
In Dr Billings’ paper he also discussed the BOM’s lowering of abortion rates in the health-care system of China. In one of the largest trials of the BOM (https://billings.life/en/effectiveness-in-preventing-pregnancy.html), a 12-month multi-centre study in China, the method-related pregnancy rate was zero and the use-related pregnancy rate was 0.5 per cent.
Method-related results show the results of those who used the Method properly and the use-related results include those who misunderstood or did not observe all the instructions.
This makes the BOM as effective as the hormonal contraceptives and more effective than intrauterine devices (IUDs), condoms and diaphragms.
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