Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill eliminating a loophole allowing child marriage.
The new law prohibits people under the age of 18 years from getting married unless they are emancipated minors.
Minors are allowed to emancipate from their parents at the age of 16, so the youngest age a person may marry in Texas under any circumstance is now 16.
The prior law permitted one parent to overrule another parent to allow a 16 year old to marry, and a parent could consent to the marriage of a child of any age with the approval of a judge without regard to whether the child was being subject of abuse or coercion.
According to a Pew Research Center report, Texas has the second-highest rate of child marriage, with 7 out of every 1000 minors aged 15-17 were married in 2014. The national average is 5/1000. Between 2000 and 2014 almost 40,000 minors got married in Texas.