For ages, underage teenagers were allowed to marry in the U.S. state of Minnesota — as long as they had turned 16 and had the permission of a parent, legal guardian, or the court. This practice will finally become outlawed.
The Minnesota Senate passed a bill on May 6th that will forbid anyone younger than 18 from getting married in the state. After voting 66-0 to approve the legislation, the Senate sent the bill to Governor Tim Walz, who is expected to sign it into law.
According to the U.S. Census data of 2014, around 1,142 children age 15 to 17 had already been married in Minnesota. No less than 248,000 children as young as 12 were married between 2000 and 2010 across the rest of the country. Nearly all of them were females forced to marry adult men.
“Child marriage threatens girls’ lives. Girls pressed into child marriage often become pregnant while still children themselves,” said Rose Roach, Executive Director of the Minnesota Nurses Association in the article penned by Senator Sandy Papas.
“This increases the risk of complications in pregnancy or childbirth, and these complications are a leading cause of death among adolescent girls.”
Child marriage is currently legal in 48 states of America.