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This article was originally published in The Independennt on April 16, 2020. You can access the original article here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/child-marriage-us-states-america-minimum-age-bride-girls-a9467121.html.

The Independent spoke to Tahirih Senior Counsel for Policy and Strategy, Jeanne Smoot, on how girls and young women continue to be at-risk for child marriage due to weak state laws. Despite bills being passed and two states that have legally ended underage marriage, there are still a handful of states with legal loopholes that continue to permit underage marriage.

The Independent quotes Smoot,

A clerk has what – sometimes less than a minute at a window to check that a form has been filled out…They’re not trained as social workers … They know civil laws, and the civil law in front of them says you can issue a marriage license if X, Y and Z criteria has been met.

Read more here.