For three decades, Cottage Grove resident Lori Eckstine struggled with the effects of her teenage abortion. It wasn’t until she attended a retreat for post-abortive mothers in 2000 that she began to heal from her long-ago decision.
The retreat led Eckstine to begin Project Aurora the following year. The nonprofit is dedicated to helping post-abortive parents, primarily accomplished through weekend retreats like the one Eckstine experienced. So far, more than 600 women and men have attended approximately 50 of the three-day Project Aurora events.
“The retreat process is a safe, uplifting and life-restoring experience,” Eckstine says. “It is conducted in a confidential, supportive environment where people can unpack and heal from grief, guilt and abortion-related trauma.”
Project Aurora is affiliated with Rachel’s Vineyard, a Pennsylvania-based post-abortive ministry. Retreats take place around Oregon and are offered in both English and Spanish. Each weekend costs $250 for lodging, meals and materials, and scholarships are available.
“I have seen the damage to hundreds of people and their loved ones caused by abortion,” says Eckstine. “The ripple effect is immeasurable.”
Yet Project Aurora is helping reverse that tide, one weekend at a time.
“Everyone should be pro-life, since they have been given the gift of life,” she says. “God loves every life and asks us to do the same.”