22 Mar 2018

American Samoa senate votes to keep marriage age at 14

12:29 pm on 22 March 2018

American Samoa's Senate has voted to keep the age girls are allowed to marry at 14.

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Photo: 123rf

A bill to increase the age of marriage eligibility to 18 earlier received broad support in the House of Representatives.

Our correspondent in American Samoa Monica Miller says senate opposition was based on apparent concern for girls aged from 14 to 17 who become pregnant.

She says the acting Senate President Nuanuaolefegaiga Saoluaga Nua asked what would become of them if they could not marry.

Monica Miller said another senator called for expert input so as to keep the bill alive.

"But the senate president said the time for arguments was over and that any suggestion like that should have been made in the second reading of the bill and so the majority voted to turn it down."

The senate voted nine against and seven in support of the bill.

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