Oh yes, I love the history of the Contagious diseases Act. Wasn't that Josephine Butler? And what was cool was that the women who campaigned turned the spotlight away from the women who were looked down for being prostitutes and towards the men who used them.
"Wasn't any woman living within a certain distance of a port automatically assumed to be a prostitute for the purposes of the act?"
The history of VD, especially pre-antibiotic is fascinating. The stats for time away from the Front during WW1 are staggering, and of course led to problems when infected men came home. Similar in Ww2, but numbers nt quite so great.
Insisting sex workers had health checks by law is draconian, but it's the same principle as those who are calling for 'mandatory checks' for sex workers today (though treatment would not take place in gaol these days), and of course if the sex work is in pornographic films, then sexual health checks for both sexes are mandatory (at the higher end, anyhow).