Elizabeth Reed, "Save the One"
Elizabeth Reed – Mother from Rape
For more about Elizabeth or to book Elizabeth to speak to your group, please contact Georgia Right to Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 339-6680.
At age 15, Elizabeth chose life and adoption for her daughter who was conceived in rape. Since then, she has dedicated herself to educating women on the truth about abortion and its consequences, and removing the societal stigmas associated with adoption. She has been speaking for pregnancy crisis centers, adoption fundraisers, feminists for life and Georgia Right to Life since 2005.
Elizabeth is currently the Executive Director of Georgia Businesses for Life, an organization striving to create a marketplace that is free from funding Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. She is also pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and plans to work with women and men trying to cope with the loss of a child due to abortion, adoption, miscarriage, or death. Her story is one of hope, love, sacrifice, and the redeeming love of Jesus Christ.
I cannot begin to tell you my story without first telling you the story of my mother. My precious mother, at the ripe age of 18 and in college, was romanced by an older man – An older man she later discovered was married with a family. Much to her dismay, not only was her romancer married with a family, she had just discovered that she was expecting me. When she told him of my existence, he did what any cowardly adulterer would do; he proposed that she have an abortion to get rid of me and cover up his infidelity.
My trouble came when she considered it. She was young, in college, didn’t really know much about abortion, and knew even less about adoption. She’d never learned that “abortion” was a pretty term used to say “murder.” She’d never learned that my heart was already beating by the time she’d discovered my existence. She’d never learned that just because she didn’t want me didn’t mean that I was unwanted.
Thankfully, the Lord kept the money she needed to kill me out of her hands and spared my life. My birth father still is unaware of my existence.
Fast forward a few years, my mother married and divorced a man who adopted me and whom I still call my father. A few years after her divorce, she dated a man who abused me sexually from the age of 8 to the age of 11. It took years after he was gone for me to reveal this to anyone, and years more after that for my mother and me to come to any sort of healing.
I grew up equating sex with love and discipline. Following in my mother’s footsteps, lost and looking for what I thought was love, I began dating at a very young age. At 15, I was drugged and raped by my boyfriend.
I don’t remember anything at all from the day that it happened. Part of me still wonders if my memory loss is a result of being drugged or a blessing from the Lord. Who would want to remember being victimized in one of the most horrible ways imaginable?
What I do remember is finding out 6 weeks later that I was pregnant, I remember being terrified, and I remember having to tell my mother. I remember feeling like I couldn’t tell anyone that I’d been raped, and really, given my past with sexual abuse, I equated what happened with love and actually saw nothing wrong or abnormal about it. So I was silent. Looking back, I wish I had spoken up because I know now that my family would have rallied around me and helped.
Every person I knew told me to get an abortion, my boyfriend’s father even offered to pay for it. I’m ashamed to say that I even made an appointment to have my daughter murdered. Thankfully, I’m incapable of sitting still, so I went to a pregnancy crisis center before my appointment, really just to get more information. It just so happened that their ultrasound technician was there that day and I had an ultrasound.
*thump* *thump* *thump*
Everything on the Earth stopped. Every breath in my body went out. Every fiber of my being stood at alert. Was that…Was that a heartbeat? But wait! The abortion rep and everyone else I knew had told me it was just a blob of tissue! It was…Well, it was an “IT!” “Its” don’t have heartbeats…Surely there was some mistake!
I decided that day that I couldn’t have an abortion. I had no idea at age 15 what that meant for me, but I knew that I couldn’t stop that heart I heard so loudly from beating.
To my mother, that meant that I had to leave her home. Now I was homeless, 15, pregnant, and terrified. For the next few months I slept on friends’ couches and stayed with my adoptive father (who was addicted to crystal meth and had no recollection of my presence what-so-ever).
I became angry – Angrier than I’d ever been before. And I knew exactly what/who I was angry with: God. Who did He think He was? What had *I* ever done to Him to deserve what I’d been dealt? Really, God? Really?! Hated since birth? Used for sex from the age of 8? Was I born to be the means to an end for men?? Was I born only to be used?? What did I ever do to YOU?!
I was furious.
Then, when I was six months pregnant, I met with a youth minister, Mrs. Cathy. We ate ice cream and she told me that not only did God love me and want good for me, but she also told me these verses from the bible: “I have called you by name and you are MINE.” “ ‘I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future’.” And, “Even if your mother and father forsake you, NEVER will I forsake you.”
Wait…You mean to tell me that this God I’ve been cursing for months CARES about me? He wrote verses directly to my heart before I was even born? He has PLANS for me?? ME? And even though I’ve been forsaken by my parents, this God still wants me? Even after all the curses I’ve directed at Him?
Despite my doubts, I finally gave up that evening. I surrendered. I cried out to my only Father. “Fine! You win! I’m at a loss! Help me! I don’t know what to do! I have this life in me that YOU made. If you have a plan for her, PLEASE tell me what it is!”
Then like clap of thunder I heard, “ADOPTION,” as clearly as if I’d heard my mother using my full name from across a room. I was stunned. And I was ready.
The very next day I called the pregnancy crisis center who had given me the ultrasound that originally saved my daughter’s life, and they connected me with an adoption agency. I chose a family and met them.
At this point I was now 7 and ½ months pregnant and my daughter was born a month later, very premature.
Her parents were ready though. Her mother was in the room while I had an emergency c-section, and I could not praise God enough for the gift of her presence. She stroked my hair the entire time and prayed over me for a safe delivery.
Suddenly, all we could hear was the wailing of a newborn child. Both I and her mother went completely silent. Never had I heard such a beautiful sound. In the recovery room, holding her in my arms, never had I seen such a beautiful creature. She seemed to be the embodiment of Romans 8:28: “In ALL things, God works for the good of those that love Him.” But, more so, she was my realization that my life no longer had to be about hate and anger. She was God’s picture of redeeming love to me. My life could be about hope, rebirth, and new beginnings. God had plans for me, and for this child. And these plans would prosper both of us and give us hope and a future.
5 days after meeting this child, I had to leave the hospital. As I watched her parents drive her away, it was all I could do not to break down. Not because I was raped, not because I was relieved she was gone like some people accuse, but because I was already missing that Baby. Just a baby. Not a ‘rape baby’. Not a stigma. Not an exception.
Since I placed my child for adoption, I have begun a mission to educate society about abortion, adoption, and the stigmas associated with both. I am now the Executive Director of Georgia Businesses for Life, an organization committed to defunding Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. I also speak about my past for adoption agencies, churches, pregnancy crisis centers, and Right to Life organizations. Abortion tried to silence me twice, but I don’t have this story so that I can be silent about it. I won’t stop until ALL children are protected.