West Germany took a very ambivalent stance on the conscientious objection. On the one had, the right to refuse the military service was legally guaranteed first through the several Fedral states laws, Article 4 Paragraph 3 of the Basic law of 1949, and Article 25 of the Military Service Act of 1956. On the other hand, as a divided nation under the Cold war regime, threats to security were acting as a constant factor in domestic politics and there was a practical need to block the possibility that the conscription system would be jeopardized by the increase in the number of conscientious objectors. Therefore, the conscientious objectors were forced to stand somewhere between legal permission and administrative repression against them.
In July, 1977, the Bundestag, led by the Social Democrats, passed the so-called “Postkarten-Novelle”. It became one of the most controversial reform bills along with the abortion bill. Initially, the CDU brought this issue to the Constitutional Court and the Court ruled in 1978 that it was unconstitutional to freely choose between military and alternative service. Though, this system was eventually institutionalized in 1984 during the reign of the CDU. It was due to the expectation that the number of conscientious objectors, which has increased rapidly since 1968, can be reduced by extending the period of the alternative service system. and the sufficient troops will be secured due to the possible change in the demographic structure.