On Sunday 14 April 1996 John Banks created a huge controversy when he expounded his views on abortion during his regular Sunday morning talk show on Radio Pacific. At the time he was a cabinet Minister (of Sport), the Prime Minister was Jim Bolger and the Minister of Health was Jenny Shipley. Both condemned Banks’s statements. This became the lead item on the TV1 News the following day. Here is a transcript of what he said:

I challenge you or any other New Zealander to name two other countries that murder more unborn children each year per capita than New Zealand. Everybody listening should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. This is state funded genocide and I am compiling a list of all the doctors in all the hospitals up and down the country that commit these murders every morning of the week and dump these babies either in the waste disposal unit in the hospital or into a ‘kleensac’ and I am going to release their names publicly so that you’ll be able to walk down the street “That’s a killer!” “That one who lives in that house. He’s another murderer!” “She kills babies before they are born!” and I’ll be able to identify the abortionist dash state funded killer because I’m getting the list together and I’m going to release it in Parliament so it can be published in every newspaper in the country.

This entry is part of an occasional “From Our Files” series in which we dig through ALRANZ newsletters and related files to give readers a bit of insight into the recent history (post-1960s) of the struggle for reproductive rights in New Zealand. All the entries are listed here.