Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women — close to 100 percent — who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy… Using an ultrasound, blood test and the mother’s age, the test, called the Combination Test, determines whether the fetus will have a chromosome abnormality, the most common of which results in Down syndrome. Children born with this genetic disorder have distinctive facial issues and a range of developmental issues. Many people born with Down syndrome can live full, healthy lives, with an average lifespan of around 60 years.
Iceland, with a population of 330,000, sees only about two children a year born with Down syndrome, CBS reports, noting that in the United States, about 6,000 babies are born annually with Down syndrome. While some women choose not to receive genetic testing, since an Icelandic law requires women be informed of the availability of the testing (and a majority of women do test), it’s a widespread practice. So is aborting the child diagnosed with Down syndrome. In fact, one mother even admits to CBS News that she, indeed, aborted partly from the pressure she felt, because it seemed so many mothers were doing it.