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
13-Year-Old Moms Among Girls From Polygamist Ranch
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)

(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. (Read more Texas stories.)

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