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A turn-of-the-century wedding
Here’s Why Some States Used To Require Blood Tests Before Getting Married
Despite myths, premarital blood testing had nothing to do with the potential for incest. In reality, it was instituted in the 1930s due to concerns about disease and infection.
These blood tests checked for diseases like gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and rubella. The biggest driving factor behind the legislation was syphilis, a debilitating disease.
Because it was still pretty taboo to talk about sex back then, these mandatory blood tests were a way of forcing couples to confront the problem without having to talk about it.
Mandatory premarital blood tests were repealed throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The last state to get rid of them was Montana, which still had women tested for rubella until 2019.
Outside the U.S., premarital blood testing is still mandatory in more than 25 countries, according to the Open Society Foundation, due to the serious risk of HIV.