Pregnancy is usually a joyous occasion, a cause for celebration. However, it wasn’t so for a 12-year-old girl that was brought to the hospital for a routine check.
In East China’s Jiangsu Province a 12-year-old girl was rushed to the hospital by her 40-years-old husband and a woman who claimed to be her mother-in-law. They said that she was three months pregnant and that she needed a routine test to confirm that her fetus was healthy.
The husband and mother-in-law said the wife was 20 years old, but medics immediately alerted local authorities when they found the young patient to be more like a schoolgirl than a “woman”.
Doctors who tried to question the girl were unable to get any answers from her, as she did not speak any Mandarin.
A member of staff at the hospital in Xuzhou, China said: “It’s obvious she is just a child”.
Their suspicion is also said to have angered the husband, who was quoted as saying: “I took her here to be examined – just do your job. Stop asking so many questions.”
Arriving police officers found that the girl did not possess a Chinese ID and concluded that she was a foreign national from Southeast Asia, but her exact origins are still unclear.
Investigators suspect that she was abducted or bought as a foreign bride – the Chinese have a history of purchasing Vietnamese brides from across the country’s southern border.
‘Opposing Views’ relates the problem that occurred in Chine to what is currently happening on American soil as per New York Times reports:
Parents from a wide variety of religious groups, ranging from Christian to Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and beyond, have allowed their children to marry adults.
Records indicate between the years 1995 and 2012, 3,481 children were married in New Jersey, with most having parental consent.
While many of the children were 16 or 17-years-old, some were as young as 13, yet still given consent by a judge.
“The solution is relatively simple,” writes Fraidy Ress, founder of non-profit Unchained At Last, in The New York Times op-ed. “State legislators should eliminate the archaic legal exceptions that allow children to wed. This is the only way to end child and forced marriage in the United States. Based on my own experience working with forced-marriage victims across the United States, I am sure many of these children had to marry against their will,” she added. “Forced marriage is a widespread but often ignored problem in the United States.”