Ann McGuiness, Major Fund-Raiser for Women’s Health, Dies at 65 | Big Indy News
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Ann McGuiness, Major Fund-Raiser for Women’s Health, Dies at 65



Ann McGuiness, a behind-the-scenes force in women’s health and reproductive rights who raised vast amounts of money for Planned Parenthood and other groups and then was a founder of the Contraceptive Access Initiative, which seeks to make hormonal birth control more available over the counter, died on Aug. 3 in Albany, N.Y. She was 65.

Her family said the cause was leiomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer.

Over the years Ms. McGuiness, who lived in Selkirk, N.Y., south of Albany, applied her considerable skills as a fund-raiser to a variety of organizations, but her passion was women’s issues. Beginning in the mid-1980s she worked for the National Women’s Political Caucus, then for NARAL Pro-Choice America (originally the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws), where she was development director.

In 2006 she began a 12-year career at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where Cecile Richards, president of the organization during that time, traveled with her often and experienced her commitment to the cause.

“It was simply the movement’s good fortune that she chose to pour her talent and energy into fund-raising,” Ms. Richards said by email. “But make no mistake — she was a great fund-raiser because of her belief in the cause of abortion rights. Her competitive streak — and it was fierce — was because to her the mission was so important.”

Betsy Liley, who worked with Ms. McGuiness on fund-raising at Planned Parenthood, remembered her as a tireless colleague.

“Ann would arrive at the Manhattan Planned Parenthood Federation of America offices after a couple of hours on the train from her home just south of Albany,” she said by email. “She’d pull this dog-eared list of names out of her pocket or purse. It was handwritten in pencil. Sometimes the list had red wine stains on it from work the night before.”

“If your name was on that list,” Ms. Liley added, “you were going to hear from Ann. It could be years later. She was going to figure out how to connect you to the work she dedicated her life to.”

Ms. Richards recalled a particular trip with Ms. McGuiness that demonstrated her tenacity.

“One day we drove hours through southern Florida, to a remote and splendid villa on the coast, to meet with a potential donor who provided fresh-baked scones but no contribution,” she said. “We laughed all the way back, but Ann wasn’t despondent, she was simply committed. A year later, she got a million-dollar gift from the same woman. She didn’t take no for an answer.”

“She is one of those unsung heroes — raised literally hundreds of millions of dollars for reproductive rights and justice, and was a key strategist everywhere she worked,” Ms. Singiser said by email. “And she was a motivator to all of us around her — always focused on the mission, not her own profile.”

Ann Catherine McGuiness was born on July 27, 1957, in New Britain, Conn. Her mother, Catherine (Jones) McGuiness, taught elementary school, and her father, Edward, was a steamfitter.

Ms. McGuiness grew up in Newington, Conn., and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at what is now the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford in 1979. In 1984 she earned a master’s degree in public administration at Columbia University.

After working for the National Political Women’s Caucus and for the campaign of the Colorado Democrat Tim Worth, during his successful 1986 run for the United States Senate, Ms. McGuiness joined NARAL in 1987. She worked for that organization for 17 years as a consultant and development director before her move to Planned Parenthood.

One important aspect of her work in all her roles, Ms. Richards said, was mentoring a younger generation of fund-raisers for women’s causes.

“She understood that her own success would be exponentially greater if there were hundreds more trained and committed as she was,” Ms. Richards said.

Ms. McGuiness is survived by her husband, William T. Reynolds; a daughter, Nora McGuiness Reynolds; a son, Nicholas McGuiness Reynolds; two brothers, Patrick and Timothy McGuiness; and a sister, Mary Kate Hallisey.

If Ms. McGuiness was passionate about particular causes, she also saw the value of giving in general. In an opinion article for The Times Union of Albany in 2010, when the American economy was still recovering from the recession of the previous three years, she made a plea aimed at non-millionaires.

“Private support established schools, libraries, hospitals and firehouses,” she wrote. “As the high unemployment rate persists and the economy stalls, philanthropy will be called upon again to make our communities whole.

“Open the letters from your favorite charities. Give and give again. Don’t be concerned that the gifts are not as big as Rockefeller’s. Our gifts have an impact — no matter the size.”

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The F.D.A. Now Says It Plainly: Morning-After Pills Are Not Abortion Pills



The F.D.A. said it made the change now because it had completed a review of a 2018 application to alter the label that was submitted by Foundation Consumer Healthcare, a company that in 2017 bought the Plan B brand from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Agency officials said the pandemic delayed the review process and that the timing was not motivated by political considerations.

A spokeswoman for the company, Dani Hirsch, said in an interview that for its 2018 application, the company had not conducted any new studies but had submitted “what was already out there.”

In a statement, the company’s marketing director, Tara Evans, said “the misconception that Plan B works by interfering with implantation can present barriers to broader emergency contraception access. The Plan B labeling correction will help protect continued over-the-counter emergency contraception access and reduce confusion about how Plan B works and further clarify that Plan B does not affect implantation.”

Plan B One-Step and its generic versions — including brands like Take Action, My Way and Option 2 — contain levonorgestrel, one of a class of hormones called progestins that are also found at lower doses in birth control pills and intrauterine devices. The pills are most effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, although they can sometimes work if taken within five days.

Another type of morning-after pill, marketed as Ella and containing a compound called ulipristal acetate, is only available by prescription and is not affected by the F.D.A.’s label change. There has been less research on this type of pill, but studies suggest that it is highly unlikely to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. In 2009, after months of scrutiny, Ella was approved for sale in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy, where laws would have barred it if it had been considered to induce abortions.

According to data published in 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-quarter of women of reproductive age who have sex with men answered yes to the question: “Have you ever used emergency contraception, also known as ‘Plan B,’ ‘Preven,’ ‘Ella,’ ‘Next Choice,’ or ‘Morning after’ pills?” The agency did not break down the data by the type of pills taken.

As far back as the 1999 approval process, the maker of Plan B — Barr Pharmaceuticals, later acquired by Teva — asked the F.D.A. not to list an implantation effect on the label, The Times reported in 2012.

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Who are Caroline Ellison’s parents? Fraudster’s mom and dad are MIT economists



This apple fell far from the tree.

Caroline Ellison — who pleaded guilty to fraud charges related to her role in the FTX cryptocurrency scandal, which led to the extradition of Sam Bankman-Fried this week — is the daughter of high-profile economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to his curriculum vitae, Ellison’s father, Glenn Ellison, was educated at Harvard, Cambridge and MIT before becoming the Gregory K. Palm (1970) Professor of Economics at the latter. 

In addition to coaching youth softball and his daughters’ middle school math teams, he writes “Hard Math,” a series of textbooks and workbooks about teaching arithmetic to younger students.

Glenn Ellison is also an Elected Fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory and American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Caroline Ellison’s parents, Glenn and Sara Ellison, outside their Newton, Mass., home in early December.
Robert Miller

Ellison’s mother, Sara Ellison, is also an accomplished academic. Armed with an undergraduate degree from Purdue University and a mathematical statistics diploma from Cambridge University, her profile shows she completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993. 

Sara Ellison is currently a senior lecturer in the department alongside her husband.

“We were definitely exposed to a lot of economics [growing up],” Ellison, 28, once told Forbes.

Ellison, 28, plead guilty to fraud this week.
Ellison, 28, pleaded guilty to fraud this week.
Twitter / @AlamedaResearch
Caroline Ellison's sister, Anna, now lives in the West Village.
Caroline Ellison’s sister, Anna, now lives in the West Village.

Glenn and Sara Ellison were photographed by The Post outside their home in Newton, an affluent Boston suburb, earlier this month. Armed with several bags, they told reporters they were too “busy” to comment on the FTX scandal.

The eldest of three sisters — including Anna, 25, who now lives in Manhattan’s West Village — Ellison distinguished herself as a precocious math whiz at a young age. 

When she was just 8 years old, she reportedly presented her father with a paper analyzing stuffed animal prices at Toys ‘R’ Us.

Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday.
Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Manhattan federal court on Thursday.
Matthew McDermott
Both Glenn and Sara Ellison are economists at MIT.
Both Glenn and Sara Ellison are economists at MIT.
Robert Miller

She went on to compete in the Math Prize for Girls while at Newton North High School before studying mathematics at Stanford University, where former professor Ruth Stackman described her to Forbes as “bright, focused, [and] very mathy.”

Ellison and Bankman-Fried, 30, crossed paths at the Wall Street trading firm Jane Street. Bankman-Fried’s parents are also both university lecturers, at Stanford in California. They became good friends and she joined Alameda Research, the hedge fund arm of the FTX crypto exchange, in 2018. She then became CEO in 2021. However, the company remained owned 90% by Bankman-Fried and 10% by another member of his circle.

In addition to documenting her supposed foray into polyamory on Tumblr, Ellison once boasted about drug use on social media.

Sara Ellison completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993.
Sara Ellison completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993.
Robert Miller

“Nothing like regular amphetamine use to make you appreciate how dumb a lot of normal, non-medicated human experience is,” she tweeted in 2021.

Ellison reportedly admitted to Alameda employees that FTX had used client funds to bail out the fledgeling hedge fund during a video call in November. She was eventually terminated as CEO by insolvency professional and current FTX CEO John J. Ray III after FTX and Alameda filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

She pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges on Monday, and has subsequently been released on $250,000 bail.

Ellison was spotted getting coffee in New York City on Dec. 4.
Ellison was spotted getting coffee in New York City on Dec. 4.
Twitter / @AutismCapital

Although she could be sent to jail for up to 110 years for her part in the FTX-Alameda scandal — which has been said by federal prosecutors to have lost between $1 billion and $2 billion of customers’ cash — she is thought to have struck a deal with the feds for a much lighter sentence in return for her cooperation.

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Iran condemns Zelensky’s remarks to Congress as ‘baseless.’



Iran has condemned President Volodymyr Zelensky’s remarks to the U.S. Congress, warning the Ukrainian leader against further accusing Tehran of supplying weapons to Russia for use in the war.

Mr. Zelensky told Congress on Wednesday that Iranian-made drones “sent to Russia in hundreds” had been threatening Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, a view shared by American and European officials. In Iran, he said, Russia had found an “ally in its genocidal policy.”

A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Nasser Kanaani, called Mr. Zelensky’s comments “rude” and “baseless.”

“Mr. Zelensky had better know that Iran’s strategic patience over such unfounded accusations is not endless,” Mr. Kanaani said in a statement on Thursday.

Although Iran has officially denied supplying Russia with the weapons since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. officials have said that the first shipment was delivered in August.

Mr. Zelensky has said that drones used in Monday’s wave of predawn attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities were from a batch recently delivered to Russia by Iran. The strikes came after Biden administration officials said that Russia and Iran were strengthening their military ties into a “full-fledged defense partnership.”

The European Union last week condemned Iran’s military partnership with Russia as a gross violation of international law and announced new sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities over their roles in supplying the drones that Moscow has used to attack Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure. That followed a round of sanctions on Iranians over the drone deliveries in October.

Mr. Kanaani “once again emphasizes” that Iran has not supplied military equipment for use in Ukraine, the statement issued on Thursday added, and urged Mr. Zelensky to learn “the fate of some other political leaders” who were happy with U.S. support. It was not clear which other leaders the statement was referring to.

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