Todd Akin asks for forgiveness for rape comments - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Akin remains in Senate race after calls to withdraw

Congressman and GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin released a campaign video titled "Forgiveness" on Tuesday. (Source: YouTube) Congressman and GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin released a campaign video titled "Forgiveness" on Tuesday. (Source: YouTube)

(RNN) – U.S. Rep. Todd Akin reaffirmed he would continue his campaign for U.S. Senate, despite calls from GOP officials across the country for him to quit.

The Republican nominee from Missouri has been under fire since incorrectly saying victims of "legitimate rape" rarely got pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." On Tuesday, he said he would "continue this race for U.S. Senate" in an interview on The Mike Huckabee Show.

According to Missouri election law, Akin had until 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday to withdraw from the race. But he defied the mounting calls to withdraw.

Akin released a video Tuesday on his YouTube channel titled Forgiveness, indicating the Republican is in for the long haul.

"Rape is an evil act, I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize," Akin said in the 30-second video.

The commercial came in response to his statements Sunday during a St. Louis-area TV interview. He went on to say that as the father of two daughters he wants "tough justice for predators," and he prays for the victims of sexual assault.

He said rape can cause pregnancy and closed the video by asking for forgiveness.

"The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold," Akin said. "I ask for your forgiveness."

Despite the firestorm that erupted after Akin's factually incorrect statement and his qualification of rape, he has insisted he will not withdraw from the race – even though the Republican National Committee has pulled $5 million in funding meant for advertising.

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, distanced himself, saying "Congressman Akin's comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong."

President Barack Obama called Akin's comments "offensive" during a briefing at the White House.

Akin also failed to appear on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight last night, but he appeared earlier in the day on Mike Huckabee's radio show to apologize for his statements.

When Huckabee asked what he meant by the term "legitimate rape," he said, "I was talking about forcible rape, and it was absolutely the wrong word."

The term "forcible rape" also appeared in the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act in 2011, a bill Akin co-sponsored with Congressman and Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan.

The bill would have changed an amendment that prevents federally funded health care programs from covering abortions, but offers an exemption in cases of rape. Under the new law, the exemption would have been reworded to forcible rape, which critics argued could distinguish it from statutory rape or sexual assaults involving drugs.

The commercial and the Huckabee interview followed an initial written statement Sunday, when he claimed he "misspoke" but did not offer an apology.

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