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INDIANAPOLIS — They say it all comes down to one simple idea: our body, our choice.

Hundreds of Hoosiers showed up to a packed protest on the canal Saturday. The sea of Hoosier humanity was made up of parents, children, elected representatives, anti-vaccine advocates, and even IU Health employees.

IU Health currently requires all employees to be fully vaccinated by September 1st. The same can be said for Community Health Network, with a vaccine deadline of September 15th.

Chastity Drennan is an employee at IU Health, and she is not happy about the mandate.

“I hope IU Health opens their eyes to this,” Drennan told WISH-TV.

Drennan isn’t ready to receive the vaccine. She has her own concerns, and feels IU Health should respect her decision and anyone else who shares that decision.

“We [IU Health employees] are educated enough to save your life. We are educated enough to advocate for our patients,” Drennan told WISH-TV, “but we’re not smart enough or medically educated enough to stand up for our rights or our freedom to choose what we put into our bodies?”

Many people in attendance share Drennan’s feelings, but she wasn’t sure she would have a lot of support when she showed up Saturday. But there were plenty of supporters, including her own co-workers.

She told WISH-TV, “It’s very touching. There’s been several times I’ve almost been in tears over everybody coming together because when this all came about I really thought I was alone.”

There’s an online petition against IU Health’s current vaccination mandate. That petition is up to 11,000 signatures. But for now, IU is standing by the mandate.

Employees are allowed to apply for exemptions if they have a medical or religious reason, but those applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.