13-Year-Old Moms Among Girls From Polygamist Ranch

Custody hearing told girls believed having babies was their duty
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2008 8:44 AM CDT
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints arrive at the Tom Green County Courthouse in San Angelo, Texas, Thursday, April 17, 2008.    (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – Moms as young as 13 are among the 416 children removed from the Texas ranch of a polygamous sect, a child protection officer told a hearing yesterday. The state, making its case to keep the children away from the ranch, testified that a pregnant 14-year-old and a number of pregnant 15-year-olds are also among those in custody, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

The officer said that girls at the ranch believed it was never too young to marry and having as many children as possible was their duty. "There was a mindset that when the prophet told them it was time get married, that was what they were going to do no matter what the age," she told the court.