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Many Speak Out Against Proposed Regulation Prohibiting The Tattooing Of Scarred Skin

Posted at 4:06 PM, May 28, 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18)– Dozens of tattoo artists attended a hearing at the Department of Public Health and spoke out against the proposed ban of tattooing over scarred skin.

Many artists say that the ban is too vague. They had plenty to say at the hearing on Tuesday.

Louisville tattoo artist Louisa Kleinert helped rally those in her field to come to the meeting and more than 100 attended. They say that the language behind the proposed ban is unclear and vague. Like Kleinert, many believe that the proposed ban on tattooing scarred skin would hurt breast cancer survivors and those trying to cover scars from accidents, illnesses, or self-harm.

Officials from the Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs listened as tattoo artists, piercers, and breast cancer survivors weighed in on the matter.

“I went to a tattoo artist. I have my dignity, my self-esteem; because when you are reconstructed insurance pays, you’re a blank canvass without any painting on the white… breast reduction, reconstruction, it took a tattoo artist to make me look and feel like a woman, not a freak,” said survivor Virginia Harrod.

Officials with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services said that the regulations haven’t been updated for 15 years, they say their intended change was to address health issues of tattooing over “unhealthy skin.”

The point of Tuesday’s meeting was for the Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs to hear what the people of the Commonwealth had to say. Kleinert and others told LEX 18 that they are glad they came.

“We want beautiful healed work, because not only is that good for our client, their confidence and perception of their own beauty it’s our reputation and our name,” she said.

The Department of Public Health hopes to have a response to Tuesday’s hearing by July 15.