The Washington Times - August 21, 2012, 07:28AM

Missouri Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate W. Todd Akin is out with a new ad appealing directly to viewers for forgiveness for the remarks he made about rape and abortion as top Republicans pressure him to exit the race in the wake of the aftermath following the comments.

“Rape is an evil act,” Mr. Akin, speaking directly into the camera, says in the 30-second spot. “I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize. As a father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them. Fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims. 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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Mr. Akin’s comments in a local television interview Sunday, in which he said rape victims are unlikely to become pregnant from a “legitimate rape,” have roiled the national political scene. The Republican Party now fears he will jeopardize its chance to win control of the Senate, and President Obama and other Democrats sought to push their political advantage by saying Mr. Akin’s comments expose a deeper sentiment among Republicans.

Mr. Akin has vowed to stay in the race. Missouri law gives him until 5 p.m. Tuesday to withdraw from the race. Under that scenario, the Missouri Republican Party would have until Sept. 18 to nominate another candidate.

If Mr. Akin misses the deadline, he can still step out anytime before Sept. 25 as long as he presents a court order and agrees to pay for reprinting the ballots.