Think Progress – How five decades of legal birth control have changed Americans’ lives
In 1961, Estelle Griswold opened a Planned Parenthood clinic in Connecticut with theexplicit intention of getting arrested. Griswold was handing out prescriptions for birth control in the hopes of challenging a state law dating back to 1879 that criminalized the use of contraception.
It worked: Griswold was convicted for disseminating information about birth control to married couples. She appealed her case all the way up to the Supreme Court — which ultimately decided, exactly five decades ago, that state-level bans on birth control violate married couple’s right to privacy. (The Court has since expanded the right to use contraception to unmarried couples, too.)

FOX News – More than one in four US kids exposed to weapon violence
More than one in four U.S. children are exposed to weapon violence before their eighteenth birthday, either as victims or witnesses, a large study suggests.
About one in 33 kids are directly assaulted during incidents involving guns or knives, researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.
“Millions of children are being exposed to violence involving weapons, and many of them are victimized by guns and knives, with an elevated risk of trauma and serious injury,” said lead study author Kimberly Mitchell, a scientist at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

TIME – Here’s the difference between MERS and Ebola
The news sounds familiar: a virus with no treatment or cure is spreading abroad. But while Ebola dominated the infectious disease circuit over the last year, the latest infection making headlines is the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which has infected 41 people in South Korea and killed four.

Quartz – How Beijing’s four million smokers are (barely) coping with a new smoking ban
Last week, Beijing instituted a ban on smoking in all public places, a huge change for a city of four million smokers who commonly light up everywhere from restaurants and offices to trains and hospitals.
Chinese health officials, who have failed to enforce other smoking bans before, are determined to make this one stick by fining businesses and individual offenders as much as 10,000 yuan ($1,600) and 200 yuan, respectively. (Officials are hoping to help reduce air pollution and lower China’s sky-high smoking rates.) Teams are patrolling the city for offenders, and anyone found to break the law more than three times will be publicly named and shamed on a special government website.

The Huffington Post – Should you eat your own placenta? Scientists find no risks, but no benefits either
Sure, actress January Jones, reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian, and many other celebrities have done it and loved it.
But a new scientific paper on placentophagy finds no health benefits for women who chow down on their own afterbirth (or pop placenta pills).
“There are a lot of subjective reports from women who perceived benefits, but there hasn’t been any systematic research investigating the benefits or the risk of placenta ingestion,” Dr. Crystal Clark, an assistant professor in psychology and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University and co-author of the paper, said in a written statement. “The studies on mice aren’t translatable into human benefits.”