Iceland seems to be leading the world in the eradication of Down syndrome; on average, only one or two babies suffering from the condition are born in the nation of 330,000 each year. As Mayo Clinic reports, Down syndrome is caused by an abnormal cell division involving chromosome 21 resulting in extra genetic material, which in turn results in the characteristic features and developmental delays and issues associated with the genetic condition.
Cognitive impairments resulting from Down syndrome can range from mild to severe, and deadly physical anomalies are also often associated with the disease. Roughly half of all those who suffer from Down syndrome have serious health conditions, including potentially deadly congenital heart defects. The life expectancy of those afflicted with the syndrome is roughly 60 years, and many require specialized medical care for the entire duration of their lives.
Modern medical testing and screening procedures have drastically reduced the number of babies born with Down syndrome in developed nations. The condition is often apparent while the fetus is in utero, either via ultrasound, genetic testing or a combination of the two. Ultimately, no nation on the planet has come as close to eradicating Down syndrome as Iceland, but the county's method of doing so has many anti-abortion activists up in arms.