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Former Missouri child brides call for outlawing marriages of minors

Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Adult women who left marriages they entered as minors are calling on Missouri lawmakers to outlaw child marriage. Research by the nonprofit group Unchained At Last shows Missouri is among the majority of states that have laws permitting 16- and 17-year-olds to be married. In Missouri, a parent must sign off on the union. Bills pending this year in states including Missouri, California and South Carolina would prohibit underage marriages completely. Unchained At Last’s executive director says children cannot sue or file for divorce on their own. And Missouri state Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder says marriage has been used by adults as a shield against criminal charges for sexually abusing minors.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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