A new law went into effect in WA this week, banning marriage for those under the age of 18.

 Previously, WA had no age limit

WA was one of the few who did not ave an age limit, four other states still permit nuptials under 18, but need a judge's permission, and those 17 need parental permission.

The primary reason for the new law is what's called marriage trafficking. According to The Center Square, several witnesses gave testimony during the bill's debate in the legislature earlier this year. The Center Square reports one woman was "sold" by her family for $6,000 at age 12, and suffered abuse. Her 'spouse' was many years older, an adult male.

Opponents of marriage at an early age say the person or persons involved are not physically or psychologically ready for such a serious endeavor.

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Fraidy Reiss, who is with the group Unchained At Last, says hundreds if not thousands of young women suffer similar fates. The group advocates all underage marriages, and she said:

“Seventy to 80% of these child marriages end in divorce and these young people end up homeless," Reiss noted. "It’s also an incentive for a parent to marry off a child so they can get out of a child support obligation. Magically, once you marry off a child they are emancipated.”

Reiss said allowing marriages under the age of 18 is basically giving rapists and molesters a get-out-of-jail-free card.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff

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