Chalice Renee Zeitner has never had cancer, but according to her defense lawyer, she truly believes she did at one time.
“The requirement is that she did this knowingly and intentionally,” said defense attorney Adam Schwartz. “The fact is that Ms. Zeitner did genuinely believe she had cancer in 2009 and 2010.”
According to ABC News, Zeitner is being accused of faking cancer diagnoses in order to secure state Medicaid funding to pay for a late-term abortion in 2010. She is now on trial with almost a dozen charges against her, including fraudulent schemes, identity theft, theft, attempted theft, and forgery. Zeitner has pleaded not guilty to all of them.
We live in a world filled with radiation; for example, cell phones emit it even when not in use. In 2010, Zeitner told her doctor that she was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for cancer and that her fetus had been exposed to radiation, too. A specialist determined her fetus to be healthy, but Zeitner continued to stick to her story, even forging a letter from another doctor saying that aborting the baby would be the only way to save her life.
The way the state sees it, this wasn’t a matter of a genuine mistake gone awry, but rather a deliberate and purposeful attempt to defraud the state of Arizona and the taxpayers who fund it.
“The state will ask you 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,” said Assistant Attorney General Maura Quigley.
In addition to getting the Arizona state-funded program to pay for her abortion, which came 22 weeks into her pregnancy, she’s also being accused of having a boyfriend set up a fake social media account for her and creating a crowd-sourced fundraising campaign for her fake conditions.
According to the state, approximately $6,000 was likely spent on Zeitner’s health care services.