When Republican state Rep. Jesse Topper of Bedford County and Democratic counterpart Warren Perry of Bucks County recently offered up a bill that would create a minimum age for marrying in Pennsylvania, the first question might understandably be: “Don’t we already have one?”
Kind of, but it falls far short of protecting all minors. Girls as young as 15 can obtain a marriage license in Pennsylvania with parental consent.
As a result, U.S. Census figures indicate, the state was home to more than 2,300 young girls — between the ages of 15 and 17 — who were married as of 2014.
Nationwide, the problem is even more unsettling. It is estimated as many as a quarter of a million girls under age 18, some as young as 12, were forced into marriage from 2000 to 2010.
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