Blood on the mind

By Lindsey Jackson · Thursday, January 10, 2013
January is National Blood Donor Month. This is a time where organizations such as the American Red Cross give thanks to those who donate blood. January is also the chosen blood donor month because extreme weather causes many people to cancel donation appointments, which leads to a shortage of blood worldwide.

With blood on the mind, I recalled a holiday dinner I attended. Sitting at a table with a few colleagues, whom I had just met that night, the discussion turned to getting shots, or something medical. Actually, we were discussing tattoos and needles (I know, excellent dinner etiquette) when the conversation turned to a woman who said she hated getting shots. She mentioned how horrible it was to get her blood tested before getting married. My first thought was her husband-to-be must have asked her get her blood tested or something. (What else could it be?) I asked her if she had to get her blood taken in order to get married and she said she thought everyone had to get a blood test before getting married. This is something I had never heard of. I asked why she had to get a blood test, and no one at the table knew why.

Turns out, years ago, states passed laws requiring people to get a blood test for venereal diseases before being issued a marriage license. After a fair amount of research, I found the main reason for the mandatory testing was to check for Syphilis, which can cause humans to become sterile or infertile. Some argued that allowing people to marry and create babies infected with Syphilis could cause the extinction of the human race. Tests were also for Rubella, which is dangerous to the fetus of a pregnant woman. This blood test law has dwindled over the years, and only a couple of states, Mississippi and Montana, still have mandatory premarital blood testing.

Now that is what I call - strange.
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