In this investigation, the planning of antenatal care in the Danish hospital districts was compared with the directives for antenatal and maternity care issued by the Danish Ministry of Health in 1985. Information about planning was obtained by means of a questionnaire sent to the authorities responsible. The results reveal that, in the hospital districts, there is a tendency to emphasize routine measures at the expense of services based more on requirements. In addition, the investigation reveals that planning differs in the various hospital districts, and that in many hospital districts, local conditions in maternity clinics and midwives' centres may be decisive for planning. The health services which are offered to pregnant women with the same requirements are thus characterized by geographic variations. Finally, the investigation reveals that the hospital districts deviate from the directives issued by the Ministry of Health in their planning of antenatal care. The possible reasons for this are discussed.