The GOP-led Idaho state House on Thursday voted 28-39 to reject a bi-partisan bill that would have ended child marriage in the state, according to the Idaho Statesman.
The legislation would have made changes to the state’s current law, which allows children under the age of 16 to marry with consent from the child’s parents and a judge.
The bill would have set the minimum age to marry at 16 and requiring 16 and 17-year-olds to have the consent of their parents and the court in order to marry.
The bill’s opponents argued that it would result in too much government and judicial oversight.
“If we pass this legislation, it will then become easier in the state of Idaho to obtain an abortion at 15 years old than it will to decide to form a family and create a family for a child that has been conceived,” State Rep. Christy Zito (R) told the Statesman.
Idaho has the highest rate of child marriage in the country,
The Statesman reported that Idaho has the highest rate of child marriage in the country.
The Hill notes:
Last year, Delaware became the first state to ban child marriage, setting the minimum age for marriage in any circumstance at 18.
A number of other states, including New York and Texas, have also recently passed laws to raise the minimum legal age to marry.