The Blood Test


When health insurers start paying for the ‘blood test for trisomies’ it could lead to a turning point in prenatal care. The test enables expectant parents to check very accurately and with no danger to the baby whether or not their unborn child has a disability. With insurers taking on the costs of the test demand for it is likely to increase. And that could face expectant parents with a dilemma: should they give birth to a disabled child or terminate the pregnancy?

Most expectant parents who receive a diagnosis of Down’s syndrome are already deciding on a termination. That’s partly because social inclusion is often treated half-heartedly and there is a lack of acceptance of people with disabilities. In this social climate a cost-free blood test could send the signal that only those children are wanted who meet society’s expectations.

Filmmaker Ilka aus der Mark has spent a year with expectant parents and talking to doctors, politicians and moral authorities to find out what is necessary for coping with this new dimension of prenatal care responsibly.


Written and directed by Ilka aus der Mark // Camera: Dieter Stürmer, Jarek Presnück, Christian Eichenauer, Stefan Thissen // Editor: Maximilian Narkovic // Sound: Gabriel Hahn, Viola Hellmann, Julian Kolb, Max Riemer // Music: Markus Aust // Sound mix: Florian Ebrecht // Sound editing: Maximilian Narkovic // Narrator: Philipp Schepmann // Production assistants: Laura Bleifuß, Annemarie Zertisch // Production management: Katja Sträter (Längengrad), Christian Wulf (WDR) // Producers: Tanja Winkler (Längengrad), Renate Werner (WDR) // Executive producers: Sarah Zierul, Thomas Weidenbach // Commissioning editor: Christiane Mausbach // Produced by Längengrad Filmproduktion for WDR

  • YEAR 2022
  • LENGTH 45 min