New details are coming to light about an Arizona woman who allegedly lied about having cancer to pay for a late-term abortion on the taxpayer’s dime.
The trial of Chalice Renee Zeitner began this week in Phoenix, Arizona, according to Fox News. Zeitner faces charges for fraudulent schemes, identity theft, theft, attempted theft and forgery, the report states. She is pleading not guilty.
According to court records, Zeitner faked a cancer diagnosis and forged a doctor’s note to abort her baby in 2010, claiming the abortion was medically necessary to save her life. Since she allegedly said she had a doctor sign off on the abortion being medically necessary, the state’s health care system paid for the abortion. State officials said $6,346.48 taxpayer dollars were spent to abort her late-term unborn child, according to The Arizona Republic.
Despite a federal law on the books to protect babies who survive failed abortions, her baby was born alive after the abortion and left to die — with medical staff apparently doing nothing to save the infant’s life, LifeNews previously reported.
During opening statements of the trial Thursday, Zeitner’s defense attorney said his client had the abortion because she really believed she had cancer. State prosecutors said otherwise.
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Here is more from the Fox News report:
Assistant Attorney General Maura Quigley depicted Zeitner as a woman who incessantly plotted not just to get an abortion, but to turn others’ sympathy into money.
“The state will ask you [the jury] to hold the defendant accountable for her false statements and misrepresentation about the fact that she had cancer in order to get a pregnancy termination that was paid for by the state of Arizona and money from a cancer fundraiser when she never had cancer at all,” Quigley said.
According to attorneys for the state, Zeitner told her doctor in 2010 that she was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for cancer and that her fetus had been exposed to radiation. After a specialist found her fetus was healthy, they say Zeitner didn’t give up the alleged scheme and forged a letter from another doctor that stated her pregnancy had to be terminated to save her life.
The Arizona health care program in which Zeitner was enrolled covers the cost of abortions in limited circumstances, such as when a mother’s life is endangered. Prosecutors say she never mentioned cancer when she applied.
Zeitner allegedly claimed before her abortion that she had stage IV cancer in her abdomen and lower spine and told her obstetrician that she was scheduled to resume cancer treatment at a hospital in Boston. Her abortion occurred 22 weeks into her pregnancy.
Investigators say the scheme was discovered a year after the April 2010 abortion when a doctor who performed a C-section during Zeitner’s subsequent pregnancy found no signs of cancer. Another doctor who was listed on medical records as having treated Zeitner for cancer later said he never treated her.
Here’s more from a previous news report:
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.
Zeitner faces a second, unrelated trial later this year for allegedly defrauding a charity for military veterans.