DUBLIN (AP) — A leading anti-abortion group said Saturday that Ireland’s historic abortion referendum has resulted in a “tragedy of historic proportions” in a statement that all but admits defeat, as two exit polls predict an overwhelming victory for those seeking to overturn the country’s strict ban on terminations.

Image result for saint [patrickOfficial counting for Friday’s referendum on whether or not to liberalize Ireland’s abortion laws was still under way, and results are not expected until Saturday afternoon. But John McGuirk, spokesman for the Save the 8th group — which refers to the eighth amendment in the constitution which effectively bans terminations — told Irish television Saturday morning that many Irish citizens will not recognize the country they are waking up in. The Irish Times and RTE television exit polls suggest the Irish people have voted overwhelmingly to repeal a 1983 constitutional amendment that requires authorities to treat a fetus and its mother as equals under the law. Currently, terminations are only allowed when a woman’s life is at risk.

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From the Irish Times:

The country is poised to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution by an overwhelming majority.

Initial tallies from across the country indicate the country has voted in favour of removing Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution and provision be made for the regulation of the termination of pregnancy.n an extraordinary result. Minister for Health Simon Harris said this was an extraordinary day for Ireland and for women from across the country. They will breathe a sigh of relief and the compassion we knew Ireland had has been recognised, Mr Harris added.

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