NOTE: This story was updated to reflect action on a second chemical-abortion bill.

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota governor’s proposed law requiring mothers to receive chemical abortions from physicians in facilities, and prohibiting them from taking the two drugs on their own, is now a step away from final approval by the Legislature.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee recommended 6-1 Monday that the full Senate pass HB 1318. The House approved it earlier 62-8 along Republican-Democrat lines.

Governor Kristi Noem had her interim chief of staff, Mark Miller, represent her at the hearing. He said there are medical risks that require the physician to meet with the pregnant mother. Violations would be a class-6 felony, punishable by up to two years in state prison and a $2,000 fine.

Senator Blake Curd, R-Sioux Falls, asked Miller whether the governor’s proposal would affect only the two drugs specifically referenced in the legislation. Miller answered that the law would need to be amended if another drug was developed.

Miller said the U.S. Supreme Court could decide to return the abortion issue to states. The court is considering a Mississippi case challenging the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide a half-century ago.

South Dakota already has a trigger law that would ban most abortions if Roe was overturned, according to Miller. He said the Legislature and governor could seek a special session, depending on the court’s decision.

“It’s hard to read the tea leaves of the Supreme Court,” Miller said.

Senator Wayne Steinhauer, R-Hartford, said the governor’s legislation is “in the best of the mothers.”

Curd, a surgeon, said he is concerned whenever government inserts itself into how medicine is practiced. “Science moves much faster than legislative efforts,” he said.

A federal judge has issued a court order stopping enforcement of similar restrictions in a state Department of Health rule.

The committee later killed HB 1208 from Representative Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, that would have banned physicians from using mifepristone or misoprosto for chemical abortions.

The vote was 7-0. Haugaard is challenging Noem for the Republican nomination in the June primary.

Opponents included South Dakota State Medical Association lobbyist Justin Bell, ACLU South Dakota lobbyist Candi Brings Plenty, physician Amy Kelley of Sioux Falls and Amy Raja of Sioux Falls, who said she’s had 10 miscarriages. The drugs Haugaard wants to ban also are used for treatment of miscarriages.

The House amended Haugaard’s bill to say it applies only to chemical abortions, but Raja and Kelley said the revision was still too loose. “As a result, physicians will not use them,” Kelley said. That would lead to more women receiving surgeries for miscarriage management, she added.

One of the medical association’s points, according to Bell, was the difficulty of reconciling Haugaard’s bill and Noem’s bill. Another point, Bell said, was that it would be difficult to argue that Haugaard’s ban was constitutional when viewed in the light of the Supreme Court’s Roe and Casey decisions.

Haugaard in rebuttal said, “This is a human life, and we’re saying it’s okay to kill a human life at a certain stage of existence? I find that reprehensible.”

Senator Erin Tobin, R-Winner, called for Haugaard’s bill to be rejected, saying that abortion is a complex medical term with a variety of meanings. Senator Red Dawn Foster, D-Pine Ridge, seconded her motion, saying there could be unintended consequences.

Dale Bartscher, executive director for South Dakota Right to Life, had stayed in his seat when the opportunity came to testify in support of Haugaard’s bill. No one else spoke for it.

The silence caught the ear of Steinhauer, the committee’s chair: “The normal proponents for (anti-abortion) bills are conspicuously absent.”