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Governor Brown's Under-18 "Tan Ban" Threatens to Sink Popular Teen Destination

"Suddenly, half of what I do is illegal."

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BASKING IN THE SWEET BLUE GLOW OF A TANNING BED - Thom Shelton had a good thing going. "What do teenagers care about?" he recalls asking himself. "Looking good and having fun. Tanning and terminating unwanted pregnancies are huge parts of that formula. If you're pasty and pale, or if you can't party with your friends because your belly is huge and the booze might hurt the baby, then you're losing on both counts. You only get so many years to be a teenager; you know how they say those are the best years of your life? I opened Abor-Tan here in San Diego to help make that saying a reality."

"Plus," he adds, "I run an outpatient clinic, but the girls generally like to lie down and rest for a while after the procedure. At Abor-Tan, they could spend that time getting a smooth, even tan. And because California helps to fund abortions under Medicaid, I was able to offer a cheaper rate on the tanning beds than anyone else in town. That's important when you're a cash-strapped teenager."

But when Governor Brown signed a law banning tanning beds for children under the age of 18, Shelton saw an immediate drop-off in business. "The kids will come for the abortion and tan combo, but when all I can offer is an abortion, I lose out to the big chains like Planned Parenthood. They're federally subsidized, and they can offer all manner of other health-related services, plus free condoms. Frankly, I can't compete."

"I don't get it," concludes Shelton. "I mean, the state has ruled that these kids are old enough to get a medical procedure like an abortion without even notifying their parents. But suddenly, the risk posed by tanning beds is so great that they can't come to me when they're under 18, even with a note from Mom and Dad. You'd think I was selling cigarettes."

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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