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Crossing the Tan Line: Tanning Salon vs. Abortion Regulations

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The Pennsylvania Senate has voted unanimously in support of The Indoor Tanning Regulation Act, S.B. 460.  Sponsored by Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh/Northampton/Monroe), the bill would require “informed consent” from tanning patrons so that they can tan safely for their skin type.  It also requires parental consent for those under 18, a signed parental waiver citing proper tanning practices and risks associated with UV exposure for those 14-16, and children under 14 must have written permission from a licensed physician.  The bill also includes *gasp* a required 24- hour waiting period — between tanning sessions, that is.

But you aren’t hearing howls from tanning salons in the state.  According to a report in The Express-Times, tanning salons there think the requirements are so commonsense that a number of them were already doing it.  Not one of the salon managers interviewed criticized the proposed tanning requirements as “biased” or “coercive,” and no cries were heard from patrons that they had a right to control their own bodies.  If this bill becomes law, I have to wonder if a boyfriend or unrelated adult might whisk a minor to another state to avoid the parental consent requirement — in the minor’s best interests, of course.

Seriously though, contrast that with the reaction of abortion advocates when Pennsylvania passed similar regulations on abortion.  Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania challenged those regulations signed into law by then-Governor Robert Casey all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Thankfully, the high court upheld all but one of the Casey provisions (spousal notification), and today, states are allowed to place modest, commonsense requirements on the abortion industry.

It’s as clear cut as a tan line.  The abortion industry is out of step with the thoughts of most citizens, and it will spare no expense to fight even the most commonsense regulations.