Robert De Niro has ideas on how to “Make America Great Again,” and USA TODAY uncovers hospitals putting moms at risk. It’s Ashley with Tuesday’s top news.
But first, that’s not an Oreo, Ben Carson: The poor guy mixed up a real estate term with an Oreo. You know, the sandwich cookie.
It’s painful. It’s risky. And there’s little evidence to back it.
Episiotomies – a surgical cut in the vagina – often do more harm than good in childbirth. The injuries women suffer from complications can last years, and there is little evidence of the procedure’s benefits. Yet a startling number are still happening. A leading hospital safety group says the cuts should occur in no more than 5% of vaginal deliveries. A USA TODAY analysis found rates of 20% or higher for episiotomies at dozens of hospitals in eight states – some nearly double the recommended rate. The new analysis is another example of how childbirth care at hospitals varies dramatically – and how data kept secret could inform women’s health care decisions.
More from our Deadly Deliveries series:
Allison Snyder said she suffered significant complications after a midwife performed an episiotomy, which tore into her rectum, during the birth of her first child in 2013 in Florida. “I could feel air passing between my rectum and vagina. I asked if this was normal and everyone told me yes,” said Snyder, who was 27 at the time. Snyder, who now lives in North Carolina, said it took weeks to have the hole – called a fistula – diagnosed and repaired. (Photo: Courtesy of Allison Snyder)
Johnny Depp in official filings: Amber Heard defecated in his bed
There is no middle ground in the warfare between movie stars and exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Monday, Depp filed court documents calling Heard’s domestic violence allegations against him “fabricated” and “categorically” false. The actor included photos of alleged injuries Heard inflicted and a claim Heard defecated in his bed in a “sick prank.” What about the joint declaration of mutual love and respect they issued after their divorce settlement in 2016? That’s over, apparently.
The split between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard gets more acrimonious. (Photo: PATRICK HAMILTON, AFP/Getty Images)
Abortion rights backers to politicians: ‘Take notice’
Thousands of #StopTheBans supporters – fueled by fury over a string of state laws aimed at restricting access to abortions – rallied Tuesday across the nation for abortion rights. “Politicians, take notice: If you come for our reproductive freedom, you’ll have to get through ALL of us,” the ACLU said in a statement. Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Mississippi recently approved legislation that would restrict access to abortions in their states. Kentucky and Missouri are among states considering action. Abortion foes hope the Supreme Court will reverse or weaken the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
Related: Mississippi judge says 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance to this court’
Protesters rally May 21 on the steps of the Supreme Court to stop abortion restrictions. (Photo: Jack Gruber, USAT)
697 reported tornadoes, and more storms coming
The deadly and destructive 2019 tornado season has been above-average and shows no signs of letting up. A day after at least 20 tornadoes rolled through the central USA, more twisters, strong winds, downpours and hail threatened parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois on Tuesday. At least one person was injured, and dozens of homes were damaged near the Tulsa airport Tuesday after tornadoes damaged homes and buildings Monday. This year, 697 tornadoes have been reported in the USA. That’s above the to-date average of 659, the Storm Prediction Center said.
See the stunning videos: Tornadoes rip through central US as storm chasers capture their power
Two funnel clouds form over Crescent, Okla., on May 20. An intense storm system swept through the Southern Plains, spawning tornadoes. (Photo: KWTV-KOTV via AP)
A figure skater killed himself. His partner says he abused her for years.
A former figure skating partner of the late John Coughlin said the athlete sexually abused her for two years. Replying to a Facebook post in support of Coughlin, who committed suicide in January, Bridget Namiotka wrote Sunday, “I’m sorry but john hurt at least 10 people including me. He sexually abused me for 2 years. Nobody innocent hangs themself.” Namiotka, 29, teamed with Coughlin, who was 33 at the time of his death, from 2004 to 2007, when she was 14 to 17 years old and he was 18 to 21. They won three medals on the Junior Grand Prix series and finished ninth in the senior (Olympic) level at the U.S. national championships in 2007.
Former figure skater Bridget Namiotka says her partner John Coughlin, who committed suicide this year, sexually abused her. (Photo: AP)
A word for ‘Game of Thrones’ haters, from Sansa Stark
Sophie Turner has words for fans hating on the final season of “Game of Thrones.” Speaking with The New York Times after Sunday’s series finale, Sansa Stark herself said she wasn’t shocked by the hostility but still called out petitions against the show. One such petition, which called on HBO to remake the entire final season with “competent writers,” garnered 1.4 million signatures.
Sophie Turner slams “Game of Thrones” fan petitions as “disrespectful” to cast and crew. (Photo: USA TODAY)
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