Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois
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Rush Introduces the "Child Marriage Prevention Act"

Jan 19, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON –   Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) introduced the “Child Marriage Prevention Act.”  This bill would clarify definitions relating to marriage under federal law to prevent child marriages. 

A February 2017 study by Unchained At Last found that, between 2000 and 2010, 248,000 children had been married in the United States, mostly to adult men. 

“This legislation seeks to stop children from being victimized by the adults who intentionally and systematically prey on minors,” said Rush.  “It is distressing to know that children as young as 10 are getting married to adults.  This should send a chill down the spine of every American.”

“We cannot continue to live in a society where children are being exposed to a lifestyle that is harmful, obscene, and coercive.  These are human rights abuses, plain and simple,” said Rush.  The research is clear that the impact of child marriages on the lives of minors have long-lasting economic and health consequences.”  

Studies have shown that a girl who marries young is 31% more likely to live in poverty and women who wed before 18 are at increased risk of developing various psychiatric disorders and face a 23% higher risk of heart attack, diabetes, cancer, and stroke. 

“These statistics are staggering and Congress must act to ensure that children across this country are protected.”

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