An absorbent article comprising a main body portion with longitudinal and laterally oriented edges has been patented. The longitudinal and laterally oriented edges determine a periphery. The article’s main body portion comprises a composite liquid-pervious topsheet with a central zone and a pair of longitudinally oriented side zones, each positioned between the central zone and one of the longitudinal edges of the main body. The composite topsheet comprises a nonwoven outer layer, which can acquire deposited liquids. The nonwoven outer layer comprises two strips that have a longitudinally oriented inner edge, which are spaced apart from one another, with the lateral separation between the inner edges defining the lateral width of the central zone. The article also features an apertured thermoplastic film layer that extends laterally and longitudinally outward to form a portion of the periphery. The apertured thermoplastic film layer is positioned beneath the nonwoven outer layer so that the nonwoven outer layer overlies the apertured thermoplastic film layer in the side zones. The apertured thermoplastic film layer is exposed in the central zone, where the nonwoven outer layer and apertured thermoplastic film layer are joined together by a seam in the periphery. The nonwoven outer layer and the film layer are also joined by a pattern of intermittent fusion bonds. A liquid-impervious backsheet is associated with the topsheet and the absorbent core has side edges that are positioned between the topsheet and backsheet.