In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama bemoaned America's standing in the world. The U.S., he lamented, is "the only advanced country on Earth" that doesn't guarantee "paid maternity leave to our workers." Apparently this is supposed to be some kind of devastating argument, because you see it a lot. When Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a paid maternity leave policy for city workers, he also noted that "the United States is the only developed nation in the world without a statutory right to paid parental leave." PBS NewsHour has made the same point: "Almost every country in the world offers more generous maternity leave than the U.S."
You get the point. If the rest of the civilized world is doing something and we're not, then clearly we need to mend our ways. But as A. Barton Hinkle points out, this line of reasoning recently came to an abrupt halt when it slammed into a brick wall labeled "abortion."