Ann Ormsby

Biography

Ann Ormsby is a freelance writer with a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English and Writing from Drew University. Her articles on reproductive freedom and other public policy issues have appeared in The Newark Star-Ledger, The Huffington Post, njspotlight.com and The Alternative Press. Her short story "Wounded Enough" was published on hackwriters.com and her story "Opening Night" was shortlisted for the Able Muse Prize for Fiction. The Recovery Room is her first full-length novel.

Ormsby is also a public relations professional who served as the senior vice president for marketing communications at the United Way of New York City. But it was her work for the City of New York that fueled her convictions about reproductive freedom and education. While working at the New York City Council and the New York City Human Resources Administration, Ormsby visited almost every homeless shelter in the City and many so-called "welfare hotels" where families, mostly women and their children, were housed.

"Many times the women were not much more than children themselves. My most graphic memory is seeing a young woman in the infamous Martinique Hotel on Broadway standing in a hallway in a sheer white nightgown, her belly swollen with a late-term pregnancy, a one-year old perched on her hip, holding a toddler's hand. A teenager herself, three children, no home, no hope. This image has stayed with me for more than 25 years. I believe that education and delayed child-bearing is one of the answers to ending the cycle of poverty," said Ormsby.

In 2005, she was elected to the Westfield Board of Education and is currently serving her third term. In 2010, she co-founded the Westfield Theatre Guild, a non-profit fundraising organization that supports her local high school's drama department. She is also a volunteer with Planned Parenthood.

Ormsby is particularly concerned about what is going on now with what she sees as an attack on women's rights. In an article written for the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade published in The Newark Star-Ledger, she stated that politicians "are nibbling at the edges of the life preserver that Roe created, and soon women will fall through the hole in the middle." The article reported that in 2011 state legislatures enacted 92 provisions restricting access to services and that this trend continued throughout 2012 and 2013.

The Recovery Room raises the question of who should make a woman's most private decision and then tells the stories of three very different women struggling with an unintended pregnancy. The book is a must-read for anyone pondering the question of reproductive rights.