Proposed Bill Aims To Outlaw Tattoos For Minors


PROVO (ABC4 News) - A bill in the Utah Legislature has many Utahns discussing body art, individual freedom and parental rights.

House Bill 143 would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to get a tattoo or body piercing even with their parents' permission. Surprisingly, the employees at Timeless Image Tattoo Shop in Provo say they're all for it.

"I honestly think it's a good idea," tattoo artist Alan Forster told ABC4 News. "I just know it's more of an ethical issue for me rather than a legality issue. I won't do it anyway if it's legal."

Forster has been a professional tattoo artist for 5 years and has several himself. Still he thinks minors getting ink is a bad idea. 

"If I were to have the tattoos I wanted when I was 16, 15 I would not be thrilled about it," Forster said.

Kelly Ortega disagrees with the tattoo ban for minors.

"I just think they don't really know exactly what they would want to live with for the rest of their lives at that point."

"I think it should be a parent's choice," she said outside of her Eagle Mountain home. "I got a tattoo at 15 years old with parent's permission that I paid for that was well thought out between me and my parents and it's symbolic. It's a memory for somebody who was very dear to me that passed away,"

Kelly now has nine tattoos all over her body, one each for her two children and others commemorating friends and family members who have passed away.

"No regrets," Ortega Said. "I love them. I love showing them off. It's something beautiful to me."

It's an issue that gets under people's skin.

"I just think they don't really know exactly what they would want to live with for the rest of their lives at that point," Forster said.

The bill is currently on hold which means it will likely undergo revisions before it ever comes up for a vote.

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