In our first post, we called In This With You an “experiment.” This is because we are always seeking out new ways to support people who might feel hidden by the social shames and pressures around abortion and crisis pregnancy.
We’re not experimenting in a way that trivializes such a sensitive and controversial matter, and we know today’s culture isn’t exactly a controlled environment for credible results. Instead, we’re experimenting in order to test a series of hypotheses listed below. We hope to confirm them as true or prove them false by the reaction (or non-reaction) that results when the ITWY movement pours into the world.
While we aren’t the authoritative voice on crisis pregnancy or abortion, and none of our hypotheses are intended to belittle, shame, or talk down to people with other views, we do believe that there is a great need for change and a different trajectory of conversation! And we are simply trying to catalyze a reaction (change) that best serves our friends in these complicated, difficult life experiences.
HYPOTHESIS #1 – The greatest benefit to people in these crisis situations are not political positions or moral arguments, but rather friends who will listen, sympathize, and stand beside them in a way that acknowledges and communally resists the influence of shame and stigma.
HYPOTHESIS #2 – The majority of people who have had an abortion or are currently experiencing a crisis pregnancy are afraid to tell others, especially Christians, because of fear of judgment.
HYPOTHESIS #3 – Shame is more influential than a person’s political party when it comes to the choice that is made in a crisis pregnancy situation.
HYPOTHESIS #4 – When a movement, church, or individual either fail or forget to regularly mention the grace of Jesus when talking about abortion, shame and condemnation will only grow and become more influential in that community.
HYPOTHESIS #5 – A large portion of Jesus-loving people are skeptical of the strategy, brand, and messaging of the anti-abortion political movement. Consequently, they are hesitant to identify with those movements, even if they are extremely passionate about preborn life.
HYPOTHESIS #6 – If you give the previously mentioned, Jesus-loving skeptics a practical and compassionate way to support their friends in crisis pregnancies, many will be happy to participate.
HYPOTHESIS #7 – If online resources were action-oriented, anonymously accessible, clearly presented, and free, more people would be motivated to take healthy next steps in crisis situations.
HYPOTHESIS #8 – If a movement surrounding the issue of abortion is focused on “winning” rather than loving and listening, that movement will ultimately lose.
HYPOTHESIS #9 – If stories from people with these experiences are shared, the power of shame and secrecy will be reduced, cultivating a healthier, more aware culture.
HYPOTHESIS #10 – The preemptive invitation of “raising your banner” by a community on social media can effectively give access to the desperately needed relational support for those who are silently struggling because of crisis pregnancy and abortion.
Again, ITWY is not the sole authority on this subject and we certainly have more questions than answers. But we invite you to join us in this experiment as we seek to listen, grow, and learn how to best support our community.