Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) offers Missouri voters his apology and asks for their forgiveness in a new television ad released two days after an interview aired in which Akin said that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy.

"Rape is an evil act," Akin says in the 30-second spot in which he looks directly into the camera. "I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize." Akin adds that he has "a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault" and acknowledges that "rape can lead to pregnancy."

Todd Akin's U.S. Senate campaign released a television ad Tuesday of the Missouri congressman apologizing and asking for forgiveness
for comments he made about rape and pregnancy. (Credit: Courtesy of Todd Akin for U.S. Senate)

Akin apologized for his comment in Monday media interviews and has repeatedly vowed to stay in the race, despite widespread calls from within his own party to step aside. Akin has until 5 p.m. today to do so voluntarily or until Sept. 25 to petition the courts to have his name removed from the ballot. If he does not withdraw from the race by the Sept. 25, he will appear on the ballot.

Akin closes the spot by noting that "the mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness."

In the ad, Akin sounds like a candidate hoping to put the controversial interview behind him, not one who appears ready to end his campaign, which is what most Republicans would prefer to see right now.