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Conflict and mass displacement into Protection of Civilian (POCs) sites in South Sudan led to the breakdown of community and family structures. This increased women and girls’ vulnerability to gender-based violence and exacerbated already poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes.

As one component of a study on post-abortion care, community perceptions of unintended pregnancy and abortion in a POC in Juba were explored. Four focus group discussions were conducted with 36 women and married men aged 18–45 living in the POC.

This is one of the first studies to investigate community perceptions and practices related to unintended pregnancy and abortion in South Sudan. Despite the beliefs that these are taboo topics, the discussions provide an opening to reduce abortion stigma. To ensure lasting stigma reduction, investment in women and girls to improve gender equity is needed.

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