Kathryn Lopez

Planned Parenthood took me "Down There" and exposed it all. The self-evident wrong-headedness of their thinking, that is.

A new campaign waged by the abortion provider is as crass as its name suggests. But it is more than that. It is an expose -- in that most pithy and au courant of forms, the Web video -- of why we get nowhere in America when we talk about sex education.

The "Take Care Down There" campaign consists of Web videos of young people talking about threesomes and sexually transmitted diseases, because that's all kids could ever chat about, right? An awkward older man suddenly enters the picture and dispenses advice -- say, how to use a condom -- to the eager teens, sparing no one's delicacy in the process.

To get even more graphic information, check out Planned Parenthood's Teenwire Web magazine and you'll have everything you forgot to think about before you embarked on that summer abroad: "Condoms, dental dams and lube. ... Even if you think you won't need any of these items, they may come in handy for a friend." What would you do on vacation, after all, without dental dams?!

And therein lies the problem with groups like Planned Parenthood -- and with way too much of pop culture. For Planned Parenthood and the anything-goes ethos it represents, young people are always going to have sex. In their worldview, there's no reason for live if you're not going to mimic the rutting bachelorettes of "Sex and the City." How could you possibly have a successful, happy life if it doesn't involve going through a condom a day?

I would have hesitated to brush with such broad strokes until I watched the abstinence video on the "Take Care Down There" Web site. In a vignette titled "Let Me Do Me," a teen girl turns down her friends' invitation to a party because she has plans to "stay in tonight" and "do a little strumming the banjo," because "I like spending time with me. ... Tonight I think I want to go all the way with me."

She adds, "Plus, it's not like I can get me pregnant or give me diseases or something." Older dude walks in and tells the girls "abstinence can be a beautiful thing. It's kinda' like being a virgin all over again."


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.