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March 17, 2017JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. |  By: AP

Missouri House passes bill to prevent child marriages

The Missouri House has passed a bill that would require teenagers to be older before they could get married without permission from a judge. House members voted 139-1 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate. Under current law, children ages 15-17 can get married with permission from a parent, and those younger than 15 need approval from a judge.  

A bill by Republican Rep. Jean Evans would still allow 17-year-olds to get married with parental permission, but those younger than that would need a judge's approval following a court hearing. The bill also would ban marriages if one partner is at least 21-years-old and the other is younger than 17.  

Evans says she wants to prevent child marriages used to disguise abuse and human trafficking.