Deborah Billings

Deborah Billings, PhD

Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health


Deborah L. Billings, PhD, serves as senior advisor for Group Care Global (GCG), which promotes group health care for mothers, infants, partners and their families to improve maternal and child health and well-being. With support from the EU’s Horizon 2020, GCG collaborates with nine partners in seven countries to implement group prenatal and postpartum/parenting care through GC_1000.

She is an affiliate faculty member at the Institute for Families in Society, University of South Carolina, where she is a Principal Investigator for the qualitative VOICES/VOCES initiative, which brings the voices of pregnant people and care providers directly to discussions about Medicaid for pregnancy, birthing and postnatal care in South Carolina.

Dr. Billings is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior and Research Associate in the South Carolina Maternal and Child Health, Leadership, Education, and Advancement in Undergraduate Pathways (MCH LEAP), Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, and Faculty Fellow for The Carolina International House at Maxcy College, University of South Carolina.

For the past 35 years, she has worked globally on sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice, including access to safe abortion, contraceptive care, prevention of intimate partner and sexual violence, prenatal-birthing-postpartum group care. During her undergraduate degree, she conducted research in Costa Rica on family planning usage and moved to Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico upon graduating to work on contraceptive access in border regions, especially in the maquiladoras. During her doctoral program, she lived and worked in Guatemala and along the Guatemala-Mexico border to conduct oral histories with Guatemalan refugee women about their experiences of organizing in exile. In 1995, she began a career as a researcher with Ipas, where she worked globally on access to postabortion care (PAC) and safe abortion care. Dr. Billings has served as a consultant to organizations including World Bank, UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF), and The Fund for Global Human Rights.

She also is a co-founder and active participant in Mutual Aid Midlands (South Carolina) and serves as a board member for Witness for Peace SE and The Agape Table


  • PhD, Sociology, University of Michigan, 1995
  • MA, Sociology, University of Michigan, 1991
  • BA, Anthropology and Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 1987