Child Brides: Meet 2 Women Who Got Married At Age 15 | Megyn Kelly TODAY


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Good morning everyone and welcome I’m megyn kelly and we begin this morning with child brides it is happening right here in America with girls too young to vote or even to drive and for some girls it is a choice that they have not even freely made 24 year old Ashley Duncan remembers the day she got married to her boyfriend she was just 15 I didn’t know I was getting married that day that’s why there was no wedding planning no party no white dress I got I went to school I was getting on the bus to come home and my aunt actually got on the bus and said come on you’re gonna get married today Ashley’s aunt and legal guardian at the time brought Ashley and her 18 year old boyfriend to the courthouse I remember whenever he was reading our vows I was really didn’t know what to say the pork that I was supposed to say I do I said I guess and my sister whispered you’re supposed to say I do just two weeks earlier Ashley then a high school freshman in Steele Missouri discovered she was pregnant oh I got hard when I am pregnant I’m bride and a freshman in high school she dropped out of school and had two children over the next two years marriage was hard it was rocky Ashley and her husband split up when their second son was about a year old if I could go back and talk to myself I would tell myself this is not what you want you know my child is definitely what I wanted but to be in a lifelong commitment husband is not something I should have done at fifteen Missouri is one of the most lenient States when it comes to the legal age of marriage only requiring the signature of one parent or guardian for children as young as 15 in fact with the judge’s order children there can be married at any age Holley Raider is a state representative in favor of making it harder for teens to tie the knot for her it’s personal I grew up on welfare and my mom didn’t work she struggle with mental illness she was married five times lots of boyfriend’s in and out of the house you know beating my mom up I went it out of that so at 15 Holly got her mother’s permission to marry her 21 year old boyfriend getting married at a young age was how I saw my way out so I my material made my own wedding dress and bought some flowers to make a small bouquet four months later Holly was pregnant she dropped out of school to care for her mother injured in a car accident and for her own daughter born shortly after her 16th birthday Holly and her husband got divorced seven years later getting married at 15 you don’t really know what you want looking back I would have had a much stronger path had I waited out the three years graduated and then gotten out joining me now here in the studio Ashley Duncan and Holly reader thank you both so much for being here with you is it true then you didn’t even know you were getting married until the day was it your grandma pulled you off the off the bus your aunt pulled you off the bus yeah I didn’t know I was getting married until that day and so she just said come on we’re going you’re getting married yes and what was that like the beginning days of your marriage what was that like for you it was hard um it’s very nervous I really didn’t know at the time but I got myself into I mean if you look back at it now this is you’re 24 now mm-hmm this is nine years ago what a lot of people say you having a bate having the baby is the biggest commitment and and marriage might pale in comparison how do you see it I knew from our early age that I wanted to be a mom but I mean it’s something I should have waited on I didn’t know that I was gonna be married at 15 I mean were you in any way ready for marriage no and and how how was it the marriage was hard we struggled financially and it just wasn’t the best choice that us I should have made that choice to do that are you with him now we are currently married but we are separated yeah and did you did you ever go back and graduate from high school or is that a goal it’s one of my goals yes but I dropped out of high school a few months after we had gotten there this we heard this story many times Holly I mean I would say you’re the exception as somebody who’s gone on and become a state legislator and it’s hard you you set yourself back Aaron in this case her parents I mean her and uncle sent her back by sort of pushing into an early marriage wrong am i right right it’s a much I mean the path is so much more difficult if you if you can stay in school graduate and then figure out what you want to do I mean how much how much stronger your path can be but you know quitting school to help take care of my family I was married then had a baby right afterwards and and and I realized I mean I was still torn between I’m a kid I want to be a kid I want to do kid things but I know that it’s and I have to be an adult I have to handle my responsibilities and so I always did but you know looking back now of course it’s like wow I could have really changed things I could have had a much easier Road had I’ve just gotten educated got in mind to my high school degree first well you were to really to fully appreciate that I hope you see both it right that you were too young to even be forced to make those decisions the state has a role on this and you’re guardians or parents have a role in this I read that in Missouri some of the girls getting married at age 15 are getting married Mena’s oldest in their 50s that as long as your parents signs off on that right now you’re fine that’s okay right and that is what representative gene Evans had brought this bill forward for was actually the sex trafficking problem and so that’s what it was launched out of and but you’re getting pushed back because she’s pushing for a bill that would make them bare minimum you cannot get married in the state of Missouri if you’re under 17 and and there was not support for that why so and the reason is is because we have a hymen Amish population and so within their culture there the boys go to school through eighth grade and then they quit and become carpenters or what have you and so it’s really a line teetering on okay are we getting into religious freedom right or are we helping you know with getting over the government looking over parental rights as well right but but we but to me we set that age already I mean we’ve set it at fifteen you know or fourteen under right so the state is already interfering exactly and so so then what is the appropriate age what is responsible and in I think seventeen makes sense and that’s just to have a judge look over it I mean that’s not even saying that um you can’t that’s and it’s not just Missouri there there are several states in the Union where it’s lawful to get married at 15 as long as you have the signature of a parent right and really usually only one parent or guardian so that’s all I had one parent it’s far too easy do you want to see a law change I mean would you have liked it to have had it be illegal for you to say yeah I do on that day so it wasn’t an option definitely yes it shouldn’t be allowed for fifteen year olds to get married and to the other girls who are out there worried about making a similar mistake getting pregnant without being married while being too young what do you want them to know if you’re and if if you’re 15 and you’re in a relationship that you think is gonna last forever you could at least wait until you’re 18 to get married that’s right there’s no rush we need to break the cycle of poverty and that’s that’s one of the stepping stones in that because women have so much more of a financial responsibility now then then we did 50 years ago and so it may have been alright to get married at 14 or 15 you know our great-grandparents age when they were at 14 or 15 but now we have we have so much more opportunity as women we have so much more financial responsibility that we really need those those extra years to be prepared amen thank you want to mention that we learned about this issue in the Kansas City Star whose staff have been doing an unbelievable job reporting on the teenage marriage issue in their state you can go to today.com slash megan today for more information we’ll be right back hello today fans thanks for checking out our YouTube channel subscribe by clicking that button down there and click on any of the videos over here to watch the latest interviews show highlights and digital exclusives

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