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Romney says won't pursue new abortion laws

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Republicanpresidential nominee Mitt Romney, in an apparent fresh movetoward the political center, said on Tuesday if elected he wouldnot pursue specific legislation targeting abortion.

"There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'mfamiliar with that would become part of my agenda," Romney toldthe Des Moines Register's editorial board during a campaignvisit to Van Meter, Iowa.

Romney's comment could be construed as reassuring some womenvoters who have had reservations about his candidacy. In recentweeks he has taken some steps toward the political center as hetries to attract independent voters before the Nov. 6 election.

Some conservatives would like legislation aimed at limitingabortions, which were legalized in the U.S. Supreme Court'slandmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

Reacting to Romney's comments, President Barack Obama'scampaign sharply criticized the Republican, saying he hadpreviously pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices who wouldoverturn Roe v. Wade.

"It's troubling that Mitt Romney is so willing to playpolitics with such important issues," said Obama campaignspokeswoman Lis Smith.

Romney told the newspaper that he would issue an executiveorder to reinstate a ban on U.S. foreign aid money being used topay for abortions in countries that receive the assistance.Obama had dropped the "Mexico City" policy on such aid shortlyafter taking office.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul, asked to comment on hisremarks, said the Republican is "proudly pro-life, and he willbe a pro-life president."

(Reporting By Steve Holland; editing by Philip Barbara)

((Steve.a.holland@thomsonreuters.com)(

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Keywords: USA CAMPAIGN/ROMNEY ABORTION