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Todd Akin comments on 'legitimate rape' spurs TV apology ad

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo. and his wife Lulli

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo. and his wife Lulli talk with reporters while attending the Governor's Ham Breakfast at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo. (Aug. 16, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, has until the end of today to remove his name from the fall ballot.

That's what party leaders are advising him to do, following his televised remarks Sunday calling pregnancy rare in the case of "legitimate rape." Instead, Akin is seeking forgiveness, Bloomberg's Political Capital blog reported today. With a 30-second ad opening with a picture of the congressman and his wife, Akin makes a solo and personal appeal to voters in Missouri: "Rape is an evil act," Akin says to the camera.

"I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize," says Akin, noting that he is the father of two daughters and wants "tough justice" for any "predators," while holding compassion for any victims. He prays for them.

"The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy," Akin says. "The truth is, rape has many victims." The mistake he made, he says in closing, "was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold." The day ahead promises to be as dramatic as the ad Akin is airing. The chairman of the Republican Party has called on him to quit the race. The chairman of Senate campaign fundraising has suggested he consider quitting. The super-PAC airing ads against the Democratic incumbent, Senator Claire McCaskill, is pulling its commercials. The presidential ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan has made their position known, too.

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