Arizona Woman Accused Of Faking Cancer For Free Abortion Trial Begins

Jury selection began in Maricopa County Superior Court in the trial of Chalice Renee Zeitner, who allegedly faked cancer in order to obtain a late-term abortion covered by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, in 2010.

Zeitner, now age 29, during March and April of 2010 in Phoenix, told her obstetrician that she had cancer and her pregnancy put her life in further danger. Zeitner presented information to her obstetrician that she was suffering from stage IV sarcoma and that she was scheduled to immediately resume treatment in Boston, Massachusetts. She claimed the treatment would include the removal of tumors located in her abdomen and lower spinal area. On April 8, 2010 Zeitner’s pregnancy was terminated at a hospital located in Phoenix.

Zeitner, who was enrolled in AHCCCS, had her costs associated with the pregnancy termination paid for by the state because AHCCCS will only cover pregnancy terminations under limited circumstance including if the life of the mother is endangered.

It is alleged that after the pregnancy was terminated, information was obtained indicating that Zeitner falsified medical documents purporting that she had cancer. The physician that was listed by Zeitner as the person treating her for cancer was contacted and he indicated that he never treated the defendant for cancer nor has he ever met the defendant.

She was charged with Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, a Class 2 felony; Theft, a Class 3 felony; Fraudulent Schemes and Practices, a Class 5 felony; Taking the Identity of Another Person or Entity (2 counts), Class 4 felonies and Forgery, Class 4 felony.

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