Bill to raise minimum age for marriage proposed

HARTFORD -- State lawmakers held a public hearing on a bill that would ban minors from getting married Monday.

The Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on bill to raise the minimum marriage age in the state to 18.

In the past five years, nearly 200 teens under the age of 18 have gotten married in the state. Currently, teens between 16-18 can get married if they have the consent of a parent. If the teen is under 16, they can marry with the approval of a probate judge.

Human Rights Watch state studies show marriage before age 18 can have harmful effects on girls and women including higher poverty rates and potentially higher risks for mental health problems and domestic violence.

Women who were forced to marry at young ages testified at Monday's hearing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.