An Arizona woman has been arrested after reportedly faking having cancer in order to get a late-term abortion she wanted to qualify for taxpayer funding.
Twenty-nine-year-old Chalice Zeitner was arrested and booked on Friday for fraud, theft, and forgery charges. According to court records, Zeitner faked a cancer diagnosis and forged a doctor’s note to kill her baby in an emergency abortion in 2010. Since she had a doctor allegedly sign off on the abortion being medically necessary to save her life, the state’s health care system paid for the abortion.
Officials in Georgia apprehended and arrested Zeitner, who will appear before a judge this week on the charges.
Despite a federal law on the books to protect babies who survive failed abortions, the baby was born alive and left to die — with medical staff apparently doing nothing to save the infant’s life.
A convicted con artist duped the state into paying for her late-term abortion, a procedure which otherwise would not have been funded with public money, according to court records.
Chalice Renee Zeitner made up a story about having cancer in order to qualify for an abortion while on Arizona’s Medicaid insurance, and forged a doctor’s note to support her claim, according to charging documents.
A doctor performed the abortion when Zeitner was 22-weeks pregnant.
Arizona’s Medicaid, known as AHCCCS, will only pay for an abortion in cases of rape or incest or “medical necessity,” which include cases where the pregnancy causes or worsens a serious health risk to the mother.
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Zeitner, 29, received “what was thought to be a medically necessary late-term abortion,” court documents state.
“Zeitner claimed she had stage IV sarcoma in her abdomen and lower spine, had received chemotherapy and radiation treatments and was scheduled to receive a life-saving surgery in Boston,” documents state.
But one year later, it was another pregnancy that led to the discovery of Zeitner’s alleged scam.
She returned to the same doctor who performed the abortion to deliver a full-term child by cesarean section. During that birth, the doctor found no signs of cancer, documents state.
That led to a check with the Boston doctor, which revealed that “he did not know Zeitner and had never treated her,” so the cancer letter from him was a fraud, documents state.
Zeitner’s aborted child was born alive, weighing just more than one pound, documents state.
“The baby lived for approximately 20 minutes and received no life-saving measure by hospital staff,” according to documents.