Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip:

State House Votes For Ban On Child Marriages In Pennsylvania

Matt Rourke

A ban on Pennsylvania marriages when either party is under 18 is moving ahead with a unanimous vote in the state House of Representatives. 

State representatives voted 195-0 on Wednesday to send the proposal to the Senate.

Current state law allows those under 18 to marry if custodial parents or guardians agree, and under age 16 if a judge decides it's in the child's best interests.

Delaware became the first state to ban child marriages last year.

The bill's supporters say underage marriages are often coerced and linked to domestic violence and limits on educational and economic choices.

Rep. Perry Warren, a Bucks County Democrat, says over the decade ending in 2010, more than 167,000 children in 38 states were married to people 18 or older. Nearly all were girls.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.