Do I need a blood test?

Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do I need a blood test?
C’ville Coffee in Charlottesville–THE meeting
place for meeting couples

Dear Engaged Couples-
     In conversation with a couple this week, at C’ville Coffee (in Charlottesville)  my preferred meeting spot, office away from home, and central connection point with friends and colleagues, the bride-to-be asked if she and her fiancé would need blood tests before they marry.  It’s a good question, of course.  Blood tests used to be required  in virtually all states, but not in Virginia—at least not today, in 2013. But her question raised several other questions:  “Why were blood tests EVER required before marriage?” and “Do any states still require blood tests before marriage?”  Today, I decided to do a little investigating.  Here’s what I found out. 
Yuck!  Syphilis sores. Thank goodness
 for antibiotics!  
Once upon a time, syphilis was a dreaded sexually transmitted disease that infected the likes of Franze Schubert, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Edouard Manet. It is now thought that Christopher Columbus brought the disease back to Europe after his travels to the Americas.  Until the early 1900’s there was no cure for that disease which, when left untreated, leads to body sores, followed by loss of weight, blindness, dementia and finally, an early death. Besides the horrific effects of syphilis on adults, if left untreated in a mother, her developing fetus may also contract the disease. Today, glory be, the disease can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics.    
Whether or not a mother has ever contracted the rubella virus (measles), or has ever had the rubella vaccine, can also be detected by a blood test. If a pregnant mother has had neither the disease nor the vaccine, and then contracts rubella during pregnancy, her unborn child may suffer  serious birth defects. 
These are two good reasons, then,  that our forefathers and foremothers made blood tests a requirement for marriage. Of course, we know that many mothers today are unmarried so better to require blood tests when a mother first becomes pregnant—hence the need for good prenatal care. 
Today the one hold-out for premarital blood tests is the state of Montana.  It requires that the bride-to-be undergo a blood test IF she is under the age of 50 (in other words, of childbearing years).  
Aren’t you glad you asked?   School’s out for today.  Many, many blessings your way.  
Your Wedding Preacher

Bottom line–We need to keep her safe from diseases.

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