Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) as seen in his campaign ad "Forgiveness." (Todd Akin for Senate / Los…)
Showing no sign of backing down from his U.S. Senate candidacy, Rep. Todd Akin released a television ad in which he apologizes for his remarks about "legitimate rape" seldom causing pregnancy, and asks for forgiveness.
It was unclear immediately how widely the 30-second spot would air in Missouri, where Akin had been leading in a race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. But the ad seemed further evidence that Akin does not intend to take advantage of a provision in Missouri law that would allow him to pull his name off the ballot if he acts by 5 p.m. Tuesday. After that, he would need to petition a court to end his candidacy.
PHOTOS: "Legitimate rape" and other disastrous quotes
Akin's remarks about rape and pregnancy, which he made on a Sunday television talk show in St. Louis, have raised a furor and pressure from the Republican establishment to back out of the race.
The new advertisement opens with a black-and-white photo of Akin and his wife holding hands and then cuts to video of the six-term congressman directly addressing the camera.
"Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize," Akin says. "As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault, and I pray for them."
Akin then directly addresses his medically unsupported contention that pregnancy seldom results from rape.
"The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims," Akin says. "The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness."
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