In the 50s and 60s, pro familia was a pioneer in sex education and contraception and against illegal abortion. It was during this time that the first counselling centres were founded. Since the 70s, pro familia has been involved in counselling program for pregnant women in conflict as per § 218 of German Criminal Code. At the same time, sex education services were also expanded. In 1991, pro familia merged with the East German Society EHE UND FAMILIE for family planning, companionship and sexual counselling.
pro familia helped ensure a link between sexuality, reproduction and health and universal human rights for the first time at the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in the year 1994.
The basis of the work of pro familia is the rights-based approach, i.e. health, sexuality and human rights are linked with each other in all offers and publications. The rights-based approach is derived from the Charter of sexual and reproductive health and rights, which was formulated in 1995 by the International Planned Parenthood Federation - IPPF- the international holding organisation of pro familia.
The IPPF Charter includes the rights stated below:
- Freedom and integrity of the person
- Freedom of thought
- Information and education
- Freedom of decision for or against marriage and foundation and planning of a family
- Freedom of decision whether and when the birth of own children is desired
- Health care and sanitary protection
- The benefits of scientific progress
- Freedom of assembly and political participation
- Protection against physical abuse.