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Portantino’s Tattoo Removal Bill Passes Legislature

AB 1956 Help for Women Branded by Pimps

Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Anthony Portantino's AB 1956 which provides a first step in breaking the bonds of prostitution and helping young victims begin new, meaningful lives, has been approved in the state Legislature. The bill moved out of Assembly concurrence late Monday on a vote of 76 to 0 and now goes to the Governor for signature. Throughout the legislative process, AB 1956 has received overwhelming support across party lines.

"It has become a disturbing trend for young women to be tattooed for the purposes of prostitution and human trafficking. These individuals are forced to carry around these tattoos or "brands" on their body, as a constant reminder of their exploitation and abuse," explained Assemblymember Portantino.

"Not only does this practice leave a permanent physical mark, but the psychological effect of being marked as property is long-lasting. Assisting these victims with tattoo removal will help them gain employment and break the psychological effect of the tattoo, further prompting them to leave the life of exploitation behind," concluded Portantino.

Current free tattoo removal programs are limited to former members of gangs. This bill will expand the program to allow for young prostitutes between the ages of 14 and 24 to take part in the tattoo removal programs.

The existing program is federally funded, so no state funds will be used to support this measure. There are safeguards in the bill to make sure the appropriate tattoos are removed and the federal program is enacted with accountability in California.

 

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