How young is too young to have sex? At least one state lawmaker says Alabama's current age of consent needs to go up.
State Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R) of Capshaw is sponsoring House Bill 137, which would raise Alabama's age of consent from 16 to 18.
McCutcheon told WHNT News 19 that the extra two years would help lower the number of child predators, while also cutting back teen pregnancy rates. McCutcheon also said the law would give parents the legal leverage they need to hold off older adults who are pursuing a sexual relationship with their teen children. Alabama is one of thirty-one states whose current consent age is 16.
"I just don't think someone who is 16 years of age has the maturity level to make those kinds of decisions," said McCutcheon. "Parents and guardians of our children should have some kind of right to help their children grow into adulthood."
McCutcheon said he decided to sponsor the bill after being approached by constituents and parents who raised concerns about the current consent laws. The legislation has yet to clear committee, and may or may not receive a floor vote this year. McCutcheon said he would reintroduce the bill next year if it could not beat the legislative calendar.
Neighboring states Georgia and Mississippi also set 16 as the legal age of consent, while 18 is the standard in Tennessee and Florida.