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Missouri state senator fights to end child marriage in home state, says minors can be trafficked

Under the current state law, anyone under 16 in Missouri cannot get married. But if individuals are 16 or 17, they can get married with parental consent. 

Published: May 16, 2024 9:07pm

Missouri GOP state Sen. Holly Rehder discusses her fight to end child marriage in her home state, arguing that children can be trafficked under the current law.

"This past fall, the Zonta, which is an international women's group, brought this bill to me," Rehder said on the Thursday edition of the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. "They had been there at a conference teaching on sex trafficking and some of the things that are happening in the USA and the signs to look for. One of them was states with lax marriage laws that still allow children to get married."

Under the current state law, anyone under 16 in Missouri cannot get married. But if individuals are 16 or 17, they can get married with parental consent. 

A bipartisan piece of legislation recently passed the state senate that would ban child marriage, but it is currently being stalled in the House, according to Spectrum News

"Once it got to the House, it got sent to a committee that had several members that honestly feel like you should be able... if your child is 16 and they're in love, they should be able to sign and allow them to get married, even though the statistics show us such an awful picture," Rehder said. 

Rehder is also currently running to be Lieutenant governor of Missouri. 

"I have built a successful track record of strong and consistent leadership," her website reads. "I am not afraid to rock the boat for the sake of my constituents."

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