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Oprah profiles polygamy on TV today

An ex-member of the Fundamentalist LDS Church suggests the best way to reduce the negative effects of polygamy is to decriminalize it.

Carolyn Jessop made those comments in an interview posted on the Web site for the "Oprah Winfrey Show."

"If there was a way to decriminalize it, people could live honestly and in the open and with dignity and their children could be more mainstreamed. Then the children would have more options," Jessop said in her interview with Winfrey, published on and scheduled to be broadcast on today at 4 p.m. on KUTV.

Jessop recently authored the book "Escape," detailing her life in the FLDS Church as the fourth wife of Merrill Jessop, a leader in the polygamous sect. Her story and her book were profiled by the Deseret Morning News in August.

Winfrey delves into polygamy in today's show, interviewing a polygamist man and his family from the fundamentalist community of Centennial Park, Ariz., and a plural wife who lives in the Salt Lake City area.

Winfrey's Web site highlights a visit to the FLDS enclave of Colorado City, Ariz., by talk show correspondent Lisa Ling. She was escorted there by Jessop.

Winfrey's show is notorious for turning books into best-sellers, and Jessop is promoting her book about life in the FLDS Church, which is also featured in a profile in this week's issue of TIME magazine.

"Escape" is currently ranked 171 on's best-seller list.