13-year-olds can't get married in Virginia, anymore

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13 Year Olds Can't Get Married in Virginia, Anymore

Virginia State authorities recently set a new law making the minimum marriage age 18.

Previously it was legal for 12-year-old and 13-year-old girls to get married if they had parental consent and were pregnant.

SEE ALSO: Utah man suing for right to marry his computer

And according to The Post, the new law takes parents and pregnancy out of the equation.

Between 2004 and 2013, around 4,500 children under the age of 18 got married in the state of Virginia. Over 200 of them were 15 years old or younger.

Activists fighting for the law change said they wanted to curb human trafficking and statutory rape disguised as marriage.

One of the groups pushing for the change said the previous law created a fast track to child marriages so abusers could simply marry their victims to evade investigation by child welfare officials.

According to the World Policy Centre, 88 percent of countries around the world have a legal minimum age of 18 for marriage.

There are still currently six U.S. states where girls can get married under the age of 16 with parental consent.

Related: Learn more about child marriage in Bangladesh:

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NTP: Bangladesh youth marriages
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NTP: Bangladesh youth marriages
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter has her makeup done at a beauty parlour on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 32 year old Mohammad Hasamur Rahman stands on a bed above his new bride, 15 year old Nasoin Akhter, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: A relative tries to drag 15 year old Nasoin Akhter onto a bed to pose for photographs on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter has her wedding sari wrapped at a beauty parlour on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: Wedding guests dance and celebrate on the day of the wedding of 15 year old Nasoin Akhter to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter is bathed on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter is bathed on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter is bathed on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: Gold wedding jewelry is laid out for 15 year old Nasoin Akhter on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 32 year old Mohammad Hasamur Rahman arrives to his wedding venue on the day that he will marry 15 year old Nasoin Akhter August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter sits with relatives while posing for photos on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter poses for a photo at a beauty parlour on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter stands in the doorway of a neighbors home on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter looks out of a dressing room at a beauty parlour on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 32 year old Mohammad Hasamur Rahman poses for photographs with his new bride, 15 year old Nasoin Akhter, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 19: 14 year old Mousammat Akhi Akhter poses in her home August 19, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. Last year, when she was only 13, Akhi got married a 27 year old man. She had finished 6th grade and wanted to wait until she was older to get married, but she says her parents felt social pressure to marry her young. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 19: 27 year old Mohammad Sujon Mia stands for a photo beside his wife, 14 year old Mousammat Akhi Akhter in their home August 19, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. Last year, when she was only 13, Akhi got married a 27 year old man. She had finished 6th grade and wanted to wait until she was older to get married, but she says her parents felt social pressure to marry her young. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter is led by relatives to a car that will take her to her new home on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 19: 14 year old Shima Akhter stands on the front porch of her home August 19, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. Last year, when she was 13, Shima married an 18 year old man. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 19: 14 year old Shima Akhter walks through a field near her home August 19, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. Last year, when she was 13, Shima married an 18 year old man. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it 'protects' girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
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