Maryland Just Pulled An Oprah And Made Birth Control Free, Plus More

Today we've got: Nurse Appreciation Week having you in tears, what up to free birth conrol, #Zimmerman trending again, the major Brazilian blowout

1. Maryland Just Made Birth Control, Plan B, And Vasectomies Free

The Short of It

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed the Contraceptive Equity Act into law Tuesday, now requiring all insurance companies to offer free over-the-counter birth control.

Read The Longer Version of It here.

2. Boy Unites With Nurses Who Treated Him At Birth

The Short of It:

Two nurses were reunited with a patient they watched over 10 years ago during his battle with a rare condition as a newborn.

The Longer Version of It:

Two of the nurses who watched over Chad Kopfle after his birth were united with the now 10 year-old and his parents on the TODAY show yesterday as part of Nurse Appreciation Week. Anne Marie Kohler and Tracy Widmer took care of Kopfle after he was rushed to the NICU at Children's Hospital days after his birth and where he stayed for 318 days.

Kopfle, had been born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia which pushed back his organs into his chest cavity and impacted his right lung. Doctors told his parents he had a 10 percent survival rate. A decade later, Kopfle (now 10 years old) and his parents, Kelli and Mike reunited with the two nurses to show their gratitude for their care and comfort during the battle.

"They were our friends at the time when we didn't have time for friends,'' Mike Kopfle told TODAY. "It's hard to even express the gratitude that I feel for them."

As a gesture of gratitude to the nurses at the Philadelphia hospital that the nurses and the Kopfles met, TODAY is having a lunch at the hospital where nearly 500 nurses work.

Why We're Sending 😭 Emojis in Our Group Chat:

Because we love our nurses.

3. Harvard Rides Crimson Wave

The Short of It:

Harvard will start taking disciplinary action against members of social groups that do not go co-ed. It's an attempt towards equality amongst women and individuals whose genders and identities don't fit into the tight mold of many fraternities.

The Longer Version of It:

Harvard University's president, Drew G. Faust, announced that new students who choose to participate in single-gender social groups in 2017 will be excluded from leadership positions, athletic teams and will not have the dean's endorsement for scholarships. Faust wrote in a letter published last Friday that these groups "encourage a form of self-segregation that undermines the promise offered by Harvard's diverse student body."

The change targets the exclusivity of Harvard's all-male final clubs and fraternities as well as sororities whose cultures perpetuate discrimination. It comes days after over 200 female Harvard students pushed back against the new policy and protested on campus.

The Breakdown:

On one end, there's an argument that all-male final clubs and fraternities should be eliminated for their promotion of exclusivity, sexism, racism, elitism and continuation to enforce a culture of discrimination, misuse and assault. On the other, the women's organizations and clubs of Harvard argue that elimination of these single-gender groups prevents them from fostering female empowerment, and affording college women confidence to grow into their own.

The Takeaway:

Harvard officials maintain the new policy is part of a greater effort to put a stop to gender discrimination on campus in all of its forms. "As we noted Friday, change is difficult and is often met initially by opposition," Harvard spokeswoman, Rachael Dane, said in a statement on Monday.

4. Hollywood Lawyers Up

The Short of It:

The federal government has begun investigating sexism in Hollywood's studios' hiring practices and has started to investigate discrimination against female directors in the the industry.

The Longer Version of It:

The American Civil Liberties Union announced that two federal government agencies, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, had started an investigation into discrimination against female directors in Hollywood. This comes after the ACLU investigated gender discrimination in the entertainment industry and interviewed over 50 female directors who reported studios had hirings lists which were exclusively male.

5. President Dilma Rousseff Gets Brazilian Blowout


The Short of It:

Brazil's senate voted in favor of making President Dilma Rousseff stand an impeachment trial today.

The Longer Version of It:

It's been a long week for Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and today just made it longer. After months of debate from Brazilian lawmakers on the fate of Rousseff's presidency, their congress voted to start her impeachment process. The country's first woman president will have to step aside from her position as efforts to impeach her proceed.

Rousseff is accused of corruption and laundering money from public banks to hide budget gaps. Her powers and duties will be suspended for up to six months or until the Senate reaches a verdict on whether they will remove her from office.

Tid Bits:

You might remember that Brazil has recently forked over major cash for the Olympics this summer. On top of that, their economy's slowly gone down the toilet. As one of the largest economies in the world, the big political and financial blowout in Brazil could potentially be a huge damper on global markets.

6. George Zimmerman Tries To Auction Gun Used To Kill Trayvon Martin

The Short of It:

George Zimmerman the man known for the shooting of Trayvon Martin four years ago tried to auction off the gun he used to kill the black 17-year-old . Yup. It's this guy again.

The Longer Version of It:

You'll remember Zimmerman as the man acquitted in July 2013 for the deadly shooting of the unarmed Trayvon Martin in a Florida neighborhood. Martin's death sparked national outrage and brought up debate and discussion about the country's ongoing race problem.

The auction, with a starting bid of $5,000, was scheduled to start at 11 a.m. today but was halted shortly after. An a error message where the original post had appeared reads, "Sorry, but the item you have requested is no longer in the system,"

Zimmerman posted that a portion of the earnings from the sale would be used to "fight BLM [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers" as well as "Hillary Clinton's anti-firearm rhetoric".

Trayvon's father, Tracy Martin wrote a statement in reply to Zimmerman's actions stating, "The Trayvon Martin Foundation is committed to its mission of ending senseless gun violence in the United States...We are laser focused on furthering that mission. As such, the foundation has no comment on the actions of [George Zimmerman]."

Why We're Sending 😩 Emojis:

Since the death of Martin, Zimmerman seemingly means to stay at the center of public controversies. Just after his acquittal he sold a painting on eBay for more than $100,000. Seems like America just can't shake this guy off.