A legislator is proposing that the minimum age to marry in Costa Rica be raised to 18.
The lawmaker is Lorelly Trejos of the Partido Liberación Nacional. She outlined her proposal to fellow lawmakers Thursday.
She said that the proposal stems from international trends. She said she wants individuals to have physical, emotional, spiritual and mental maturity when they marry.
She said that under age unions result in premature pregnancies, childbearing problems, high infant mortality and sexual diseases.
Traditionally in Spanish societies the 15th birthday is when a girl becomes a woman. That is why that birthday is such a big deal and accompanied by the quinceañera celebration similar to a coming out party in North American and European cultures.
In Costa Rica a woman may marry at 15 with parental permission. This also is the age at which minors may maintain sexual relations without penalty.
Woman may marry without parental permission at 16. The lawmaker did not say how her change in the law would handle cases of pregnant minors.
In fact, in Costa Rica there are many family relationships without legal marriage. However, a sexual relationship between an adult and a minor still is actionable even if consensual.